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Glentoran could be given major boost for Premiership run-in as star man McMenamin nears return


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Key asset: Mick McDermott had initially feared losing Conor McMenamin to injury for the rest of the season

Key asset: Mick McDermott had initially feared losing Conor McMenamin to injury for the rest of the season

�INPHO/Brian Little

Key asset: Mick McDermott had initially feared losing Conor McMenamin to injury for the rest of the season

Glentoran boss Mick McDermott this week received a piece of unexpected good news when he learned that big money signing Conor McMenamin could be back sooner than expected.

The former Cliftonville man moved to the east Belfast club on the final day of the January transfer window and hit the ground running at The Oval.

But he sustained a serious toe injury at Warrenpoint Town on March 23 and McDermott reckoned he'd be missing for 'multiple weeks' - and may not even have played again this season.

Ahead of tonight's Danske Bank Premiership showdown with Coleraine at The Showgrounds, however, McDermott confirmed McMenamin could be back 'in a few weeks'.

"We thought Conor would be out for a couple of months, but the diagnosis on his toe injury was good, so that's a positive," said McDermott

"Hopefully he'll be back within weeks. We are hoping to have a full squad available soon. Dale Gorman was out after he picked up a hip injury against Crusaders but is due to return.

"Dayle Coleing is on the way back after recovering from a hamstring injury he sustained playing for Gilbraltar against the Netherlands and Norway in the World Cup qualifiers."

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Although the Glens are 11 points off the pace in the league table, McDermott admits he is happy the way things are progressing.

"I'm massively pleased the way the club is progressing, but I'm still not satisfied," he said. "We are climbing to where we should be, we should be one of the top teams in this country.

"From where we came from 20 months ago, it's a massive accomplishment in terms of how everyone has bought into the scheme - the players, management, staff, directors, sponsors and the volunteers around the club.

"Everyone knows there is massive project in place here. Sometimes people only see what is happening on the park, but there is a lot more to building a football club than just on the park.

"Yes, our ultimate goal is to win games of football and win league titles and trophies, but there is a lot going on to building the club behind the scenes and we are consistently doing that."

Tonight's installment with Coleraine is the second between the clubs in four days. The Bannsiders thought they had pinched three points at The Oval on Tuesday night when Matthew Shevlin netted twice after Jay Donnelly had shot the Glens into an early lead.

But with the clock ticking down, Coleraine midfielder Josh Carson scored the most bizarre own goal of the season, lashing the ball past his own goalkeeper Marty Gallagher from 35 yards.

Honours even did neither side any favours as they both attempt to chase down table-topping Linfield.

"We should have had the game over by half-time, we totally dominated the first half," insisted Glens assistant boss Paul Millar.

"We had a stonewall penalty decision turned down, there is no question about that. Hrvoje Plum had his legs whipped from under him inside the box. The referee was going to award it, but he was overruled by his linesman.

"The ref actually had the whistle up to his mouth, but then changed his mind. It's very rarely that happens.

"It came on the back of a penalty kick awarded against us at Ballymena United last week which was never a spot kick.

"I know people make mistakes, but that's two in a week against us. It was at a crucial point in the match - and a crucial decision that ultimately cost us."


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