Reds are hungry to hold top spot
Eddie Patterson enters tomorrow afternoon's top-of-the-table clash with Glentoran with a double aim in mind.
The Cliftonville manager wants to be Christmas number one by keeping his side on top of the pile and only three points will guarantee that.
If Patterson pulls off the first league win over the Glens of his management career then Alan McDonald's side will fall six points off the pace with the Big Two Boxing Day derby and a trip to Portadown looming.
That would give the Reds a massive pre-Christmas boost and Patterson is adamant that his team will be going all out for the points.
"We'll not be trying to go for a point or anything like that, it's not Cliftonville's style," said Patterson, whose team lead the pack by a point from Linfield.
"We need three points to stay at the top of the table, that's the bottom line. We'll be going out to try to get those three points, we'll be trying to put a bit more daylight between ourselves and Glentoran. They have to come and try to get a result. We want to stay at the top of the table. It makes for an interesting game, there will be a good crowd there, a good atmosphere and it's probably the first time that Cliftonville v Glentoran has been a top of the table clash.
" Since I've been manager we haven't beaten Glentoran in the league and hopefully that will be a first on Saturday."
With two games of last season to go Cliftonville had a chance to overtake Glentoran and take second place in the table and UEFA Cup football for themselves.
They lost at home to the east-Belfast men though, which gave the Glens the league double over the Reds after overpowering them at the Oval almost exactly 12 months ago.
"This is a different Cliftonville side from last year, it's a stronger Cliftonville side and if we want to stay top of the table we need three points," said Patterson.
"The boys will have the right mental attitude. There is great fighting spirit in the squad, a never say die attitude and they have hung in there and fought for each other." SEE PAGES 32-33