Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin fired up for his first derby


Paddy McLaughlin
Paddy McLaughlin

By Alex Mills

Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin is relishing his first north Belfast derby showdown.

His boys will tomorrow make the short journey to Seaview for an appetising Danske Bank Premiership clash against rivals Crusaders, a team buoyed by their impressive last-gasp midweek Shield Final victory over Linfield.

Ex-Institute man McLaughlin has made a big impact since arriving at Solitude to replace Barry Gray, who was sacked following a horrible run of results.

In his first five starts, his new charges have tasted defeat on only one occasion - and that was a tense, undeserved 2-1 result at Ballymena United - while clean sheets have been the order of the day in the other four fixtures.

Although this will be the former Derry City and Coleraine defender's first taste of Belfast derby action, he's already licking his lips in anticipation.

"The game has a lot of history," he said. "Crusaders may be trailing the top two in the league table, but they are still one of the most formidable sides in the country.

"They'll obviously be boosted by their midweek trophy success - while they are still chasing down the title.

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"Seaview is a great ground, with a super surface - there should be a big crowd and a great atmosphere, so we'll be going there to compete and match their work rate to see where it takes us.

"We have good players at the football club - in every department. From our goalkeepers, through to the defence, midfield and up front. To a man, every one of them have worked hard since I walked through the door."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph