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Patterson pain at Cliftonville's break

By Stuart McKinley

No matter how hard he looks, Eddie Patterson is unable to find any positives to gleen from Cliftonville’s unplanned mid-winter break.

Even the Solitude injury list has stayed stagnant as the match fitness of the players has decreased.

And with an Irish Cup meeting against last season’s other beaten semi-finalists, Championship promotion chasers Donegal Celtic, looming tomorrow, Patterson is hoping that despite three weeks without a match, his team can pick up where they left off.

“Not playing for three weeks isn’t the best preparation for an Irish Cup game and Donegal Celtic will have a bit of an edge on us in those terms,” said Patterson.

“They have had a couple of Saturday matches postponed too, but they did manage to play on Tuesday night, so they have been able to get playing time whereas we haven’t.

“We were on a bit of a run with only two defeats in 12 games, both of which were against Linfield.

“When you are in that kind of form you want to keep going and try to maintain the momentum.

“I just have to hope that we don’t lose too much momentum and that the players haven’t lost too much sharpness either.

“In the cup it doesn’t matter what position you are in or what league, anything can happen.”

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