Belfast Telegraph

News boss McLaughlin thrilled to see Cliftonville turning on the style already

Warrenpoint Town 0-2 Cliftonville

Ryan Curran celebrates the second of his two goals
Ryan Curran celebrates the second of his two goals

By Steven Beacom

Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughlin has heaped praise on his new players for taking on board his messages so quickly.

The Reds won 2-0 on Saturday at Warrenpoint Town thanks to two well-taken second-half Ryan Curran goals on a day that saw the visitors produce some of the stylish football that earned McLaughlin rave reviews when he was in charge of Institute.

It's clear that, while McLaughlin was only appointed earlier this month, he is already putting his mark on the side.

They have two wins out of two under the new boss and after a rough period, which led to Barry Gray's exit, the Solitude outfit are looking sharp and confident again.

"One thing I have noticed about this group of players is that they are very quick at receiving information and taking it on board and putting it out on the pitch," said McLaughlin.

"We encouraged them from day one about playing good football. There is a time and a place when you can play and they have realised that. We play when it's on and go more direct when it's not.

"It's something over the course of time and this season and next which we will get better at. This is already a very good side. The heads of the players may have been down but since we've come in they have responded to what we are trying to do in training and long may it continue.

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"The boys have probably taken a few knocks this season, most of it undeserved, but they are getting back on their feet again."

Curran's double was down to coolness and a clinical edge in front of goal.

Cliftonville's record goalscorer Joe Gormley would have been proud of his team-mate's supreme finishing which proved too much for Warrenpoint, who have now lost their last three league matches.

Stephen McDonnell's men are 11 points clear of bottom two Ards and Newry City but could do with a few more wins to make sure of safety.

That being the case, they could have done without losing key players Alan O'Sullivan and Eamon Scannell to injury at the weekend. Both are set to miss tomorrow's league game at Glentoran and possibly Saturday's Irish Cup tie at home to Larne Tech Old Boys.

"The better team won," admitted McDonnell. "We were well in it until they scored.

"We conceded from a throw in which was disappointing considering the effort we put into the game and once that happened they were on the front foot."

WARRENPOINT: Turker, Foster, Kelly (Young, 76 mins), Griffin, McGrandles, O'Sullivan (Duffy, 59 mins), M Lynch, Watters, Scannell (Hughes, 38 mins), Wallace, Macedo Marques. Unused subs: Byrne, J Lynch, Magowan.

CLIFTONVILLE: Brush, Breen, Grace, C Curran, R Curran, A Harkin, Bagnall, McConnell (Catney, 78 mins), Gormley (Garrett, 90 mins), McMenamin, Gorman. Unused subs: Neeson, McGovern, Ives, Maguire, A Donnelly.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

Man of the match: Ryan Curran

Match rating: 7/10

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