Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville fans have big part to play in bringing back glory days, maintains Press

 

A section of Cliftonville fans are being made to work to see their team in action tonight.
A section of Cliftonville fans are being made to work to see their team in action tonight.

By Graham Luney

Cliftonville interim boss Michael Press has called on the Red Army to roar the team on to better days.

The former Olympic boss has taken charge while the club search for a successor to Barry Gray, who left his role at the weekend.

"I want our fans to know that I'll be working my hardest to put things right," said Press.

"I understand the supporters' frustrations. I'm a supporter myself so I know exactly how they feel about results over the last period, but I also know how good this team and squad can be.

"We're not far away, but we need momentum. That starts with the team, although the supporters can help too because having them on our side is important.

"Cliftonville has always been a family and families stick together through tough times. Myself, Marc Smyth and Barry Johnston will do everything we can in the lead-up to Saturday's game, we'll ask the players to take things on board and work hard for each other - and I know that's what our supporters will respond to."

Meanwhile, teenage Irish League goalkeeping sensation Declan Dunne is a target for a host of clubs across the water.

Already this year the Cliftonville youngster, currently on loan at Portadown, has been on trial with Premier League outfit Bournemouth and Championship side Aston Villa and this week he is scheduled to go to Ipswich Town.

The 18-year-old has been earning valuable experience training during the week with professional players and then playing for Portadown in the Championship at the weekends.

Dunne, a Northern Ireland Under-19 international, came through the Academy at Cliftonville and has played senior football for the Reds. By loaning him out to Portadown in August, the Solitude club felt the move would give Dunne more first-team experience.

• The postponed North West Cup final between Limavady United and Institute has been rescheduled for Friday, February 1 at the Limavady Showgrounds.

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