Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran can land top six spot if players show ability: McFall

 

By Alex Mills

Temporary Glentoran boss Ronnie McFall is demanding the same again when his team face Warrenpoint at The Oval tonight.

The 72-year-old made a successful return to the Danske Bank Premiership at the weekend after a two-year absence by guiding the east Belfast boys to a home victory over Cliftonville.

Brought in as a stop-gap measure to replace Gary Haveron, who was sacked last week, McFall not only witnessed the Glens' third home league win since September, but their first clean sheet in 17 outings.

Never one to rest on his laurels during a glittering 29-year spell with former club Portadown, McFall insists it's vital the players back-up their weekend performance with another display of grit and determination against Matthew Tipton's side, who were just edged out by title-chasing Coleraine at the weekend.

"It won't be easy," said McFall. "I've seen Warrenpoint Town a few times this year and they play decent football. They're a threat and it'll be a hard game for us.

"We've a tough run of games coming up before the split - Warrenpoint, Glenavon, Linfield and Ballymena. It's going to be difficult to negotiate. It's a matter of working hard on the training pitch and giving it our best."

McFall witnessed enough on his Glentoran return - he last prowled the Oval's home dugout 34 years ago - to suggest there are better days up ahead.

"Some of the boys are very young and have a lot of ability," said the veteran. "The one thing I will emphasise to them is there is no point in having ability if you are not going to use it.

"I want them to believe in themselves, I want to see them get the ball down and play with a bit of freedom. There is still a lot to play for. A top-six place is still up for grabs. Although there is now a five-point gap now between ourselves and Ballymena, they still have three games up their sleeve. We'll take each game as it comes.

"It's important we back up Saturday's display. The players put in a shift against Cliftonville and I'll be demanding the same again against Warrenpoint.

"The players left everything on the pitch, both mentally and physically. I couldn't have asked for any more. It doesn't matter what league you play in, it's crucial you're strong at home. It's important we pick up as many wins as we can at The Oval and sneak points away from home."

McFall will almost certainly be without James Knowles, who was carried off just before the break at the weekend.

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