Belfast Telegraph

Eddie Patterson deal can keep Glentoran flying high, insists Curtis Allen

By Graham Luney

Curtis Allen says Glentoran can start plotting more glory days after Eddie Patterson agreed a new deal at The Oval.

The club are putting the final touches to a one-year contract extension for Patterson who has one year to run on his current deal.

The prospect of losing a manager who had guided the club to two Irish Cup triumphs in three years was an unthinkable one for the supporters but former Cliftonville boss Patterson fought to secure a better deal for his backroom staff who had played a key role in the development of the players.

Patterson has been unable to invest heavily in his squad due to financial constraints but after the Cup final win over Portadown, skipper Elliott Morris called on the Glens board to make more cash available to the manager and Allen has echoed those sentiments.

"In terms of the club moving forward and making progress it was very important that Eddie agreed to stay on," said the former Linfield and Coleraine striker.

"Eddie and his staff have been rebuilding and a lot of work has gone on in the last few years.

"If someone had come in with different ideas it would have been a step back for us and possibly movement in the wrong direction so it's important we keep working hard as a unit and taste more success together.

"Eddie has done a brilliant job especially when you factor in the budget cuts he has faced and it would be great if the board could give him more funds to strengthen the team and add experience.

"He hasn't been able to do that. You look at other clubs like Linfield, Cliftonville, Portadown, Crusaders and Glenavon and see how they are able to improve their squads and it's important we keep doing that at Glentoran.

"You need experienced players and players with the right winning mentality to win trophies.

"We do hope to win the league in the coming years but that's not a realistic target at the moment because you need strength in depth and experience to do that."

Allen has another two years to run on his contract at Glentoran but that doesn't mean he is immune from transfer speculation.

"My name has been linked with Glenavon and Derry City - not for the first time - but I'm under contract and I'm not looking to go anywhere," added the 27-year-old.

"I was fortunate to get a long-term deal and the Irish Cup was my first trophy with Glentoran. Winning trophies is the reason why I came to the club and hopefully that continues.

"Players such as Stephen McAlorum and Calum Birney have agreed new deals and it's encouraging when players show a desire to stay.

"They are obviously enjoying their football and Eddie appreciates what they bring to the team."

On the Irish Cup success, Allen added: "After having to sit out previous finals it was a brilliant feeling to finally get my hands on the trophy.

"I know Portadown felt certain decisions went against them but I felt we were the better side on the day. Scully (David Scullion) scored a great goal and we got the luck you need to win these big games."

Meanwhile, Allen was saddened to learn of the passing of his former coach at Coleraine, Wesley Gregg.

"I could not believe the news," added the striker who joined the Glens from Inverness in a three-and-a-half year deal in January last year.

"Wesley was a really nice guy and great working with kids.

"He was very fit and active as well. He was a gentleman and my condolences to his family."

Belfast Telegraph


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