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Gray happy with Reds' approach to their recent taxing schedule

Barry Gray has praised his players' attitude as Cliftonville's busy programme continues with tonight's hosting of Ards.

The Reds saw their recent mini-revival halted when Ballymena United executed the perfect smash-and-grab at Solitude on Tuesday night but, philosophical about that defeat, Gray has expressed pleasure with his squad's attitude.

"The Ballymena game was one of those ones that you go through in football from time to time," he explains. "We hit the crossbar twice, their keeper has made countless point-blank saves, we've had one off the line and should probably have had a penalty too - it was just one of those nights. We now move on to the Ards game, where we'll be looking to go again and try to get back on a winning foot.

"It's been heavy for us with five games in 14 days, plus a raft of training sessions, and the commitment levels from the players have been brilliant. I have to go on record and say that - they've been very professional about this wee period of time.

"If you went to the English Premier League and asked a professional player to play five games in 14 days, they would go on strike and there would be chaos!"

• Crusaders are leading the race to sign Ards left back Michael Ruddy. Other clubs are understood to be interested in the former Ballymena United man.


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Danske Bank Premiership

Solitude, Tonight, 7.45pm

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