Belfast Telegraph

No extra motivation required for Linfield game, insists Glentoran star Clarke

By Chris Holt

Glentoran midfielder Richard Clarke says that taking on Linfield is the perfect match to try and regain the winning habit after Tuesday’s surprising defeat to Ballymena United at the Oval.

That was the Glens’ first defeat this season and, for some with perhaps a seed of doubt in their minds, it may seen like a daunting proposition to have the Blues head in your direction in the aftermath.

However, Clarke believes the size of the task at hand means that their Sky Blue setback may have already been forgotten.

“It was obviously disappointing losing our first match, because we made a few mistakes and a lot of it was our own doing,” said Clarke.

“But we have moved on and it just so happens that our next game is against Linfield so you can’t afford to worry about what has happened in the past.

“We know that we are going to be up for it, because if you can’t get motivated for a Glentoran v Linfield match then you shouldn’t be there.

“It could turn out to be a good thing that Linfield is our next match because it will lift everyone that little bit more.

“It’s a massive game for all concerned, for both sets of players and supporters and all the fans want to have the bragging rights.

“We want to make sure that it is our fans who are celebrating.”

Clarke, like most of the team, has been a mainstay in the starting line-up this season, but tonight that small squad that boss Scott Young is working with will be stretched to its limits — not least around Clarke.

Midfielders Jimmy Callacher and Ciaran Martyn are both out injured — forward Andy Waterworth is also missing — meaning that Clarke will have two relatively new faces around him.

Young will mull over two from three in the middle of the park — new boy David Howland who is lacking match sharpness, Paul Leeman who has only just returned from injury or youngster Grant Gardiner who has been on the bench.

“We have been lucky with injuries so far but the management said at the start of the season that this would happen,” added Clarke.

“We have a small squad but I think that has galvanised us because we are very close and are working hard for each other.

“Someone now has the chance and what better game to get it.”

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