Glentoran must show heart to book a Euro spot, insists Haveron
Glentoran boss Gary Haveron has warned his troops to gear themselves for a big finish to the Danske Premiership campaign. The East Belfast club, by their own high standards, have endured a horrible season that culminated in them battling it out among bottom six teams in the league table.
With only five games remaining, they could be forgiven for hoping the finish line would come sooner rather than later.
They currently sit in eighth position, one point adrift of Dungannon Swifts.
But it's not all doom and gloom for the Glens as Haveron still has his sights fixed on possible European qualification.
To achieve that, they must nail down seventh place in the table, which would earn them a slot in the end-of-season European qualifiers.
"We desperately need to get into that seventh place, but I'm sure Dungannon Swifts are thinking the same," said a pragmatic Haveron. "That means winning our remaining games against teams that are in and around us in the league table.
"We know what we need to do, we still have a glimmer of hope of playing in Europe next season. We have to take care of ourselves."
Haveron knows if his team are to make a late challenge, they must put in a big finish to the campaign, starting with a win at Ferney Park today against Ballinamallard United.
"Our results against Ballinamallard United haven't been good enough this season," he added. "They defeated us (1-0) at the Oval in a game we totally dominated.
"They also beat us (2-1) down at their place. But we had Stevie Gordon sent off at half time after he got involved with Johnny Lafferty on the way off. To be honest we owe them one, in terms of getting a result.
"I've a great deal of time for Gavin Dykes, who has done a great job at the club. It's a big undertaking trying to recruit players in that part of the country, but they have a great little set-up and a super playing surface.
"They are battling for their lives to stay out of the relegation play-off spot, so I know we'll not be handed any favours."