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Morris insists Glentoran heading in the right direction under new boss

Crusaders 2 Glentoran 2

By Laure James

Elliott Morris has applauded his childhood pal's rejuvenating effect at Glentoran, but has warned there's no room for complacency.

Morris' friendship with manager Gary Haveron stretches back over two decades to when they were both at youth teams in the English midlands.

Haveron's no-nonsense approach has involved stripping the team's preparation and development back to basics, which Morris insists is what the club desperately needed.

They frustrated champions Crusaders on Saturday, by holding them to a 2-2 draw, assisted masterfully by Morris' saves - but he says they still have a long way to go.

"Gary and I go way back," he said. "I actually played at Crusaders with Gary for their under-16s, then he went to Wolves and I went to West Brom, so I've known Gary for years and years.

"He went over to play for Wolverhampton meaning our game was the derby match as we were the closest teams in the same youth team league at the time.

"We played against each other then and that was fun. He's a good lad."

Assessing Haveron's impact on the dressing room, Morris added: "It wasn't right [at the Oval], things just weren't right at the club. He had to change everything to fix it. That goes for the mental side of it as well as the physical side. Training needed to be changed about and so many other things.

"Now it's been taken right back and if we don't perform, we are answerable. He's doing a good job, but we can't just become complacent now, we have to keep going and keep going.

"We can't just get a result at Seaview and then lose, we have to keep going."

Skipper Stephen McAlorum made his first start of the season at the weekend and Curtis Allen, who signed a new three-year deal on Friday, bagged himself a brace. His 11th-minute strike was cancelled out when Gavin Whyte converted a controversial penalty leaving things square at half-time.

Ref Andy Davey pointed to the spot when Jonathan Addis tugged Jordan Owens' shirt, but Glenmen complained Owens had fouled him first.

Allen doubled when he nudged Aaron Harmon's excellent cross in, but substitute Richard Clarke's deflected shot on 86 minutes meant Crusaders kept their heads above water with another trademark late goal - their seventh in 10 league games to find the net in the last five minutes.

Morris said: "I was happy with the way the game went. We were soaking up a lot of pressure which is understandable coming to Seaview, it's what you expect.

"With the way their second goal came about, given the bit of a deflection it took, it took it away from me a bit so I am a bit disappointed we didn't get the three points.

"In fairness, they would probably say the same given the amount of possession and the number of chances they had, but before the game I would have been happy with a draw."

CRUSADERS: O'Neill, Burns, Beverland, Gault, Caddell, Forsythe, McClean (Clarke, 76 mins), Owens, Heatley (Cushley, 62 mins), Carvill, Whyte. Unused subs: Lowry, Mitchell, Dougherty.

GLENTORAN: Morris, Birney, Magee, Allen (McAuley, 89 mins), Foley, Harmon, Addis, McAlorum (O'Flynn, 84 mins), Redman, Ferrin, Smith (K Nelson, 70 mins). Unused subs: D Nelson, Novo.

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)

Man of the match: Curtis Allen

Match rating: 8/10

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