Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran can hurt Ballymena's title bid as Jeffrey's men feel the pressure: Smyth

 

Glentoran boss Gary Smyth
Glentoran boss Gary Smyth

By Alex Mills

Glentoran boss Gary Smyth insists his erratic side can toss a spanner into Ballymena United's title challenge at the Warden Street Showgrounds tomorrow.

It's been another season of turmoil for the fallen east Belfast giants. The only light at the end of the tunnel is a possible seventh-place finish in the Danske Bank Premiership which would earn Smyth's team a slot in the end-of-season European play-offs.

They missed out on the chance of inching into that position after a 1-1 draw last weekend by relegation-threatened Ards.

Smyth believes it was "a big opportunity lost" and acknowledges his team have been very much victims of their own downfall in recent games.

"We must learn from our mistakes," he said. "We set the boys a target of picking up five points from the last three games before the split. We were hoping for three against Ards and maybe a draw at both Ballymena and Cliftonville - two tough away venues.

"But that plan went out of the window with last week's result. If we want to get into the play-offs, we'll now need to up our game against Ballymena and the Reds.

"In all honesty, the only two teams that have been better than us this season, in my opinion, have been Linfield and Crusaders.

"In the other games, we have been gifting teams goals - we've been victims of our own downfall. It's basic poor decision making that is costing us.

"Ballymena are going well, but we won't fear them going up there. Most of their players have never been in this position (challenging for the title), so they are going to feel the pressure."

Belfast Telegraph

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