Belfast Telegraph

Lyttle only in the market for a quality addition

Cliftonville 1 - Dungannon 0

By Conor McLaughlin

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle says he won't be making signings for the sake of it when it comes to the January sales.

His Reds side extended their winning streak to six matches and stretched their unbeaten Premiership run to 12 thanks to Saturday's narrow win over Dungannon Swifts, which came virtue of a fortunate Martin Donnelly goal on the stroke of half-time.

Injuries and suspensions robbed Lyttle of Jaimie McGovern, Ryan Catney, Caoimhin Bonner, Marc Smyth, Jude Winchester, Jay Donnelly and Paul George and, as the transfer window approaches, the Solitude boss admits he has his eye on one or two potential tweaks to his panel.

"We have a good squad here but you always look to add to it if the right player's available," he said. "The players have been excellent for me since day one and I can't fault them. Our results have been good and even when we've not performed to our best, we've managed to win games or draw them at the very least.

"We have an idea of what we'd like to do in January but it will be a case of sitting down with the chairman and seeing what options are open to us."

One player Cliftonville have been linked with is Dungannon striker Andrew Mitchell, but Lyttle said: "I was disappointed to read that in the papers last week.

"We (Lyttle and Swifts boss Rodney McAree) had a chat recently, just a casual conversation, about various things and Mitchell's was a name that cropped up over the course of it, then the next thing I'm reading the papers about us being in for him. I'm not happy that it was put out there in that manner."

McAree, meanwhile, took positives from his side's second-half performance but, with a cutting edge very clearly lacking at times, there are no prizes for guessing what area of the pitch he'll be prioritising when January comes around.

"I thought the first 45 minutes was the worst we've played since I took over, we weren't at it whatsoever," he said. "The good thing was I got a reaction at half-time and we competed a little bit better but didn't ask enough questions going forward.

"I've been very pleased with the players, they've worked hard and we're keeping ourselves in games. It's just those fine margins we need to address."

CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, Ives, Flynn, Knowles, Curran, McMullan, McDaid, Garrett, M Donnelly, Brennan, Cosgrove. Subs: Seydak (Ives, 90 mins), Murray (M Donnelly, 84 mins), McMurray (McDaid, 72 mins), Mooney, Henry.

DUNGANNON: Coleman, Lowe, Armstrong, Burns, McCaffrey, Harpur, Fitzpatrick, Teggart, Burke, McElroy, Mitchell. Subs: Addis, Glackin (Harpur, 56 mins), Mullan, Hazley (Fitzpatrick, 56 mins), O'Rourke (Lowe, 46 mins).

Man of match: Chris Curran (pictured)

Match Rating: 5/10

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

Belfast Telegraph


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