Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Glentoran can still land Europa League spot, insists Allen

By Alex Mills

Glentoran striker Curtis Allen wants to turn recent negativity into positivity, starting in tonight's rearranged league clash with Dungannon Swifts.

The east Belfast club are not only smarting following Saturday's Danske Bank Premiership loss at Warrenpoint Town, but also from the rejection of two of the country's brightest young bosses who were offered the vacant manager's job.

Rodney McAree and former Glens defender Colin Nixon preferred to remain with Dungannon and Ards respectively, which raised eyebrows around the Mersey Street direction.

And McAree will bring his Swifts side to The Oval tonight, hoping to pile on the agony.

The only glimmer of light for the Glens is the fact that they'll still have the chance of claiming a lucrative European place as they will be involved in the end-of-season qualifiers.

They are practically assured of finishing in seventh place having built up a nine-point lead over the Swifts - and they boast a far superior goal difference.

"We are looking to put right a few wrongs against Dungannon," said Allen. "We turned in a dreadful performance on Saturday - it just wasn't good enough.

"I don't know what it was. A few of us looked a bit leggy and the pitch wasn't the best, although it was the same for both teams. I'm not into excuses, we just weren't at it.

"We didn't deserve to win the game, but I don't think we deserved to lose it. We missed a few decent chances, but it was just one of those low-key affairs.

"We now have three games left to get momentum going before the play-offs."

Allen believes it will be beneficial if a new manager is appointed sooner rather than later.

"At this time of the season players are playing for new contracts," he added. "Some will be resigned to the fact that they will be moving on as well.

"So it doesn't help not knowing. At this time of the season managers generally speak to players in terms of their future. However, nothing can happen until the new man comes in.

"We have three league games remaining so it's in everyone's interest to go out and give their all.

"It's important to get a few wins before the play-offs. We haven't had a great season, but we have proved that, on our day, we are a match for any side.

"With the financial benefits that come with European qualification, it would be a tremendous boost. Crusaders, Linfield, Coleraine and Cliftonville have all cashed in over the past three or four years. It would be massive for this club - we are capable."

Belfast Telegraph

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