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Champions? Glentoran are shocking, says McCreadie after 5-0 thrashing

Roy McCreadie has taken a swipe at the standard of the Carling Premiership and, in particular, Glentoran by describing the champions as ‘shocking’.

The loud-mouth former Omagh Town and Newry City boss, now in charge at Intermediate side Omagh United, said he was disappointed by what he saw from the Glens, despite having just watched his team — eventually — take a battering in their JJB Sports Irish Cup showdown,

And McCreadie, who was never too slow in winding up Glenmen in his days in senior football went on to claim that his old sides would have beaten Alan McDonald’s men.

The Glens struggled to find a way past the tigerish Co Tyrone outfit and it took the appearance of Matty Burrows from the bench for the breakthrough to arrive before the United defence buckled and conceded four more.

Burrows, helped himself to a hat-trick on his return from a second loan spell at Loughgall, while Colin Nixon and Daryl Fordyce added one apiece.

But the fact that it took until the 68th minute for the first goal to arrive had McCreadie blasting the ‘lethargic’ Glens.

“Well I don't mean to be rude or sarcastic but I thought they (Glentoran) were shocking,” said McCreadie. “I didn't think they had any shape about them, they were lethargic and I was disappointed in them to be honest.

“It's not sour grapes, they were the better team and still a lot better than us, but for Irish League champions, the tempo they played was poor.

“Maybe the break (due to the weather) hasn't helped and they lost their last game here at the Oval (against Newry City) so maybe they were on tenterhooks.

“But they didn't impress me like a Glentoran side that I have come up against in the past.

“My old teams would have given them a game and probably beat them. They are good players, don't get me wrong but there's something not right where there is no cohesion and as I say, I thought they were lethargic and I was disappointed that that's the Irish League champions.”

McCreadie was right in a way — the Glens were far from their best, though if you are going to play devil’s advocate, the fact that this was their first game in nearly a month and Omagh United were always going to park the proverbial bus in front of goal, the performance wasn’t that surprising.

Last season’s quarter-finalists also had to deal with that good old fashioned early round of the cup tradition — the minnows’ goalkeeper turning out the performance of his life.

There’s always one hero to emerge in a game like this and Polish stopper Tomasz Antzak stepped into the Superman costume with an outstanding display in keeping the Glens out.

Fordyce, Gary Hamilton, Paul Leeman, Sean Ward and Johnny Black were all denied by the goalkeeper before Burrows came on and showed them how it was done — ironically from the keeper’s error.

His first goal may have arrived by way of a tap in but take nothing away from Burrows, his ability to be at the right place at the right time means that the Glens have available to them a striker who could get them the goals they are in dire need of at present.

And boss McDonald admitted he is still unhappy with his forward line, despite working hard on the training ground to force them, at the very least, to have a shot!

“I thought in the first half we were trying to walk the ball into the net,” said McDonald. “Then Matty comes on in the second half and gets a hat-trick — brilliant. His first reaction is to shoot.

“We worked on Monday with the four strikers and some offensive players in the final third and just working on being very positive. We were working on our shooting but also just the mental attitude of when we are in the box, just to have a dig at goal.”

Most Glentoran fans are of the opinion that Burrows is their great green, red and black hope.

If he scores next week against Ballymena United and then against Linfield he will persuade the few disbelievers he can be just that. As far as McDonald is concerned, the ex-Dundela striker is doing just what he has to, to earn himself a starting role.

“The first goal that Matty gets is a total poachers goal. The goalkeeper made a bit of a mistake but at least Matty was there. He just has this knack that when the ball falls in the box it will fall to him and that's a great gift to have.

“He's come back from Loughgall again and he's back in the fold and this is the challenge that's being set to him.

“I'm not speaking out of turn but I've spoken to the strikers individually and collectively and it's a proven fact that we haven't scored as many goals as we should have. If Matty Burrows continues to do what he does then he'll stay in the team.”

Belfast Telegraph