Belfast Telegraph

Paddy McLaughlin left delighted by winning start to Cliftonville reign

Cliftonville's new Manager Paddy McLaughlin during todays game at Solitude in Belfast
Cliftonville's new Manager Paddy McLaughlin during todays game at Solitude in Belfast

By Adam McKendry

New Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin has admitted he's delighted by picking up all three points in his first game at Solitude despite a shaky performance.

The Reds weren't at their best, but Conor McMenamin's third-minute strike led them to a 1-0 win over Newry City that consolidates their position in the top six of the table.

It was McLaughlin's first game in the Solitude dug-out since joining the club from Institute, and naturally it will take time for the players to adapt to his new systems with the club.

As a result, the performance wasn't sparkling, but the boss acknowledged that a win was the perfect way to settle his early nerves and that the victory was the most important thing.

"We're delighted - we knew it was going to be tough, I've played Newry City three times this season already and they always give you a difficult game but getting off to a winning start is fantastic," he told BBC Sport NI.

"It was a great start and settled the nerves. We had a couple of chances to extend our lead but overall I'm delighted to have got three points and kept a clean sheet."

The Derry man had been working wonders with Institute - who lost 2-1 to high-flying Ballymena United today - by taking them into seventh in the table and playing some eye-catching football.

In his first post-match interview, McLaughlin again said it was tough to leave the Brandywell, where he was a much-loved coach, but revealed the offer to join Cliftonville was too hard to turn down.

"It was hard leaving Institute, obviously being so close to the players there," said the Reds boss. "But this was a big opportunity to come coach some of the best players in the division so my aim now is to help get them back up the table."

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