Belfast Telegraph

Glens boss takes Crues loss on chin but calls for big response

By Alex Mills

Glentoran boss Gary Haveron is demanding a reaction from his team in today's clash against Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

The east Belfast boys suffered only their second defeat of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign in midweek when they were ruthlessly dismantled by a free-flowing Crusaders side in front of a live Sky Sports television audience.

Haveron's troops literally never got out of the starting blocks in what developed into a totally one-sided procession, but he is willing to put it down as a 'one off' and is eager to wipe the slate clean.

"We have to react in the right way," said Haveron. "We are young, we are going to make mistakes. That was probably our poorest display of the season and it was a bad time to have it.

"The one defeat we had at Linfield, we took a lot of credit from our performance, but we couldn't take a lot from the midweek game. Hopefully, we can correct that against Ards.

"It's now all about how we respond. It always is. That's the biggest thing about football - it can be the making of a player. Sometimes, setbacks can be a good thing if you use it in the right way."

Although the players failed to deliver, Haveron also takes a certain degree of responsibility for the performance.

"Our formation was wrong and I hold up my hands for that," he added. "We stood off too much, we showed too much respect.

"Perhaps I should have changed personnel and the shape of the side. I thought we could hurt Crusaders by going toe to toe with them, but that's one I'll take on the chin.

"It's important we bounce back against Ards.

"The bottom line is, we can't concede goals from set plays. It wasn't good enough.

"The boys never tossed in the towel, which was the only positive factor we took from the game. Once they cross the line, they have to take a certain amount of responsibility.

"Our season will not hinge on results against the top two or three. We have be looking at teams that are in and around us in the table, sides striving to get into the top six.

"The Crues, by right, will compete for the league because they have a massive squad. When they can leave people like Howard Beverland and David Cushley on the bench, it says all you need to know about their squad. Mark McCrystal isn't even in the squad.

"We couldn't get anywhere close to signing him in the summer with the wages he is on. We couldn't even look at half of what he was after. That's the reality of where we are at.

"We've had a lot of positive results this season, so we must build on that - our fans deserve it. They continue to come out and support us.

"The only way to get a poor result out of the system is to get back on to a winning run."

Meanwhile, after losing their opening three games, Dungannon have really turned a corner.

They go into this weekend's home clash with Ballymena with only one defeat in their last six league matches.

"At the start people were writing us off," said Swifts striker striker Paul McElroy.

"We had a tough three games - we had Coleraine, Glentoran and Linfield.

"People started to talk but us, around the club, we knew it was only a matter of time before we came good."

  • Ards v Glentoran, Danske Bank Premniership: Bangor Fuels Arena, Today, 3pm

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