Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson wary of wounded Reds
Eddie Patterson was surprised to see his old comrade Tommy Breslin step down as Cliftonville boss, but he still expects the Reds to pack a massive punch under the guidance of Gerard Lyttle.
In early April 2011 Cliftonville sacked Patterson as manager after more than five years in charge of the Premiership club.
Patterson, who guided the Reds to the Irish Cup final in 2009, was appointed caretaker manager at Solitude in the summer of 2005 after Liam Beckett's resignation.
Breslin, who was assistant boss during Patterson's reign, landed the top job and the rest is history with eight trophies, including back-to-back titles, taking Reds fans on a journey they could only dream of.
His last match in charge, however, was a 6-1 thrashing at Ballymena United last weekend.
Ironically, Patterson is the first manager to take on the Reds after Breslin's exit this week as his Glentoran side roll up at Solitude this afternoon.
"I was surprised at the news, but it's hard to come to the conclusion that one bad result signalled the end for Tommy, there must have been much more to it," said Patterson.
"There was a lot more than that performance on his mind and it doesn't seem to be a football decision. He must have had work commitments and probably wasn't able to be 100 per cent committed to the job.
"He's called it a day and it's a decision everyone has to respect.
"I watched the highlights of their 6-1 defeat against Ballymena United and the scoreline wasn't fair.
"Had the Reds not lost their goalkeeper (Peter Burke was sent off) then it would have been a different outcome.
"When 2-1 down they were actually in the ascendancy and pushing for the equaliser.
"They still have a very strong squad with plenty of experience, including guys who are double title winners and some are coming into their prime.
"Crusaders only defeated them 1-0 and I've no doubt they will be fired up for this game.
"Anyone who thinks there will be doom and gloom around Solitude for long are mistaken."
Patterson says his Glentoran side are "down to the bare bones" and there was more bad news on the injury front with Kym Nelson breaking a bone in his foot, ruling him out until the end of the year at the earliest.
David Howland's return to first-team action has also been shortlived due to an injury setback.
"Given the size of our squad it's a difficult and testing time, but I was delighted with the attitude the boys showed in the win over Portadown," added the Oval boss.
"Forget about the performance, they approached the game with the right mental attitude and it was a massive win.
"Our performance against Ballymena United was abysmal and unacceptable so we had to respond."