Belfast Telegraph

Caldwell: Blues will fall short again in title race

By Graham Luney

Ciaran Caldwell has rubbed salt into Linfield's wounds by saying they are making up the numbers in the title race.

Glentoran ace Caldwell doesn't believe David Healy's squad have sufficient strength in depth to wrestle the Gibson Cup off Crusaders.

The Crues have won both their Premiership showdowns with the Blues this season and now boast a three-point advantage over the Windsor Park side.

Linfield, who entertain Cliftonville tomorrow before taking on Glenavon, Portadown and in-form Coleraine, need to stay in touch with the Hatchetmen before the New Year when injuries and suspensions expose squad depth.

Caldwell and his team-mates hope to reward Alan Kernaghan with his first win as Glens boss at Seaview tomorrow but the former Cliftonville and Glenavon ace rates Stephen Baxter's side as red-hot favourites to retain their title.

"I don't think Linfield are strong enough to win the league title and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Glentoran player," said Caldwell.

"I just think Crusaders have greater strength in depth and that's why Linfield and Cliftonville will struggle to stop them.

"The Crues have quality all over the pitch and will be hard to stop.

"Big Jordan Owens can bully anyone with his size and power while Paul Heatley is a class act and they are starting to get in the groove."

Caldwell, who netted the winner against Ballymena United last weekend, has been doing his research on new Glens boss and former Republic of Ireland defender Kernaghan.

"I didn't know a lot about him so when I checked his record you've got to say it's an impressive list of clubs he has coached and played with," he added.

"He's told us he wants 100 per cent commitment from the players and a lot of people will pick up on his comments about wanting to challenge for the league title.

"I think we should all think that way, otherwise why are we involved in the game? You enter a league to finish first but a top four finish for us as well as a trophy and European football would be a good season for us.

"We will do everything we can to get this club back to where it belongs."

Caldwell is simply thrilled to be back playing after a six-match ban for an alleged headbutt playing for Glenavon Reserves delayed his Glentoran introduction.

"I was disappointed for myself, Eddie (former boss Patterson) and the supporters because you want to influence things on the pitch and show you deserve to be here," he added.

"Eddie brought me to the club and me being on the sidelines didn't help with his personal situation.

"I was worried about the fans' reaction too as I'm of no value to them or the club if I'm not playing.

"Roy Coyle (Director of Football) told me I could be a big player for the Glens and you just want to get out there and perform."

Belfast Telegraph


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