Belfast Telegraph

Some things just don't work: Barry Gray to consider Cliftonville future after Irish Cup exit

Cliftonville manager Barry Gray.
Cliftonville manager Barry Gray.

Cliftonville manager Barry Gray says he will consider his future over the next 24 hours.

The Reds were dumped out of the Irish Cup after a 1-0 defeat at home to Dungannon on Saturday afternoon.

By Gray's admission, the result ends the Reds' prospect of silverware, already out of the League Cup and County Antrim Shield and 15 points off the pace in the Danske Bank Premiership.

"Performance levels have been very poor and I have to take responsibility for that - and I do," Gray told BBC Sport NI.

"At this point, we have to sit down and make some big decisions and see where we go from here."

The Dungannon defeat marks the Reds' fifth successive defeat in all competitions.

 "We have to ask serious questions about the reaction, about my position first and foremost - you can see the reaction of the fans at the end of the game, they're clearly not happy - and rightly so," he said.

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"We need to take grace and see if my workload is enough for what Cliftonville expect and what they should be getting.

"We're effectively in the first week of January and our season is over, we have nothing else to play for so there is certainly a discussion to be had between myself, the board and the players in the next 24 hours to see where we go.

"Listen, I'll be first to say, that nobody can be harder working than what I am and everyone that surrounds me can back me up on that.

"But we have to be realistic, it's football and some things just don't work, no matter how hard you work. We haven't got round that corner and I am at the helm so the can stops with me and I have to take responsibility.

So will Gray still be in charge when Cliftonville host Ards next Saturday?

"I hope so," he said. "That's all I can say but it's a case that the fans, or the vast majority of them, don't want me.

"And there are lots of fans that have been supportive and I thank them for that - the players have backed me at every opportunity. It's a results-driven game so it's a case of the next 24 hours, we'll decide what's best for Cliftonville."

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