Belfast Telegraph

Glens will need a Swift pick-up to hit Euro goal: Allen

 

By Graham Luney

Curtis Allen feels it's now crunch time for Glentoran if they have any hopes of progressing to a Europa League play-off place.

Gary Haveron's men travel to Dungannon Swifts this afternoon and the Tyrone men occupy seventh position, a point ahead of Ards and the Glens.

Allen admits it would be a minor miracle if the east-Belfast side could secure some continental action at the end of one of the club's must frustrating campaigns in recent memory. But they still have something to fight for and their cause will not be helped if the Swifts can tighten their grip on that magnificent seventh spot.

The Glens suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Ballinamallard United last weekend but results elsewhere meant the damage wasn't as severe as it could have been.

"It was a disappointing performance and mirrored our season really, the only consolation was that Dungannon Swifts also lost and we remain a point behind them," said Allen.

"We've got to move on quickly and beat the Swifts to strengthen our claim for that seventh spot. It's going to be like a Cup final for us. We are not where we want to be in the league but we are left with a chance to make the European play-off and we've got to rise to the challenge.

"This game is could be decisive for us and we will prepare right for it. There's no escaping the reality we haven't been good enough this season and there hasn't been enough depth in the squad to cope with the injuries.

"The players' form has dipped too and if we could qualify for Europe, after the frustrating season we have endured, it will feel like a minor miracle. We've just been too inconsistent.

"It's important now that we work hard to finish the season strongly and keep the bid for a European place in our hands. The last thing you want to do is allow another team the initiative and opportunity to get in ahead of you.

"We've got to pick up the points if we want to have any chance of making it."

Haveron is demanding a response from his men, telling the club's website: "If we fail to do the basics of defending then we don't deserve anything from games.

"I had an honest conversation in the dressing room after last week's game and anybody that wasn't hurting or embarrassed by the result last Saturday doesn't deserve to be at a club like Glentoran."

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