Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran could easily end up with egg on their face at Newry, warns boss Smyth

By Steven Beacom

Gary Smyth insists Glentoran will have 'egg on their face' if they don't approach tonight's re-arranged league fixture at Newry City in the right manner.

Smyth is demanding the same determination and desire against Newry that was on show in the second half against Linfield last week when the Glens scored twice after the break through Curtis Allen and Robbie McDaid to pull back a two-goal deficit before the Blues turned up the heat late on to win 4-2.

Smyth was pleased with how his team went about their business after the break at Windsor Park and wants the Glens to deliver that energy and effort throughout at the Showgrounds.

Glentoran can move into seventh place with an away win while Newry will go five points clear of bottom side Ards should they emerge victorious.

Earlier this month, Smyth picked up his first Oval success as Glens boss in a 2-1 victory against Newry and will hope to do the double over Darren Mullen's men.

"We got it hard a few weeks ago against them, though I was really pleased with our performance then and the amount of chances we created," said Smyth.

"They do set up well and work really hard, so if we go to Newry with any other feelings than thinking it will be as hard as playing Linfield we'll get egg on our face."

Elliott Morris will return to the Glentoran goal if he has recovered from a back injury even though Smyth felt replacement Dwayne Nelson acquitted himself well in the Big Two derby.

Smyth revealed that a dose of half-time positivity and a willingness not to be embarrassed again by Linfield drove his team on to give the league leaders a fright last week.

The previous meeting between the sides saw Ronnie McFall's Glentoran side hammered 4-0 at Windsor on Boxing Day. A similar scenario looked on the cards in the latest derby until wise words from new boss Smyth.

"We had a good chat at half-time and talked about giving it a go in the second half after a disappointing first half," said Smyth.

"We didn't want it to get embarrassing like on Boxing Day and we had a great response scoring twice early on. We were right back in it at that stage and even for 10 minutes after that we looked good."

With a third of the fixture remaining, the Glens had the momentum to go and win it only for Linfield to score twice in the closing stages, though Smyth felt the ball had gone out of play in the build-up to the home side's third goal scored by Chris Casement.

"For their third goal in the build-up to it the ball looked a foot out," stated a frustrated Smyth.

"I was thinking I was seeing things but Leeper (coach Paul Leeman) and Elliott Morris thought the same. Ross Redmond as well.

"It's not sour grapes but if the ball is out it's out, though we still have to deal with the ball when it comes into our box."

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