Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran must get over Darren Murray's red card controversy ahead of League Cup tie: McDermott

 

Hot issue: Mick McDermott was angry during loss to Reds
Hot issue: Mick McDermott was angry during loss to Reds

By Alex Mills

Glentoran boss Mick McDermott insists his boys cannot afford to dwell on Friday night's controversial league defeat by Cliftonville ahead of tonight's BetMcLean League Cup third round tie against Coleraine.

Although Joe Gormley hit a late winner for the Reds, Friday's game will be remembered for all the wrong reasons - the dismissal of striker Darren Murray.

The Glentoran man fell victim of a bizarre new rule established by Fifa. Having been booked earlier, Murray was to be replaced by Jonny Frazer with 26 minutes left on the clock.

He jogged to the dugout, but just as he made his exit, referee Steven Gregg reached to his pocket to pull out a second yellow. The striker failed to heed an instruction to leave on the other side of the pitch.

It was a decision that left McDermott fuming, both at the time and post-match too.

"It was a sore one to take in terms of the defeat, but it was a sore one for football when one person on the pitch can ruin a match," he rapped. "Things need to be seriously looked at."

It means McDermott is not only deprived of the services of Murray for tonight's Cup test, but also midfielder John Herron, who is also banned.

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"We can't afford to let Friday night's episode fester, we have to get it out of the system," said McDermott. "Coleraine will be another big test.

"They are the form team, undefeated in the league so far. We had the boys in on Saturday for a light session. I'll be forced into making changes, but we'll go to Coleraine to try and get a result."

The Glens manager is preparing to reshuffle his pack for tonight's clash at the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds following that loss to the Reds.

McDermott could well hand new signing Navid Nasseri a starting shirt. The manager admitted the Iranian Under-20 player was on the brink of a debut on Friday night - until the Murray incident flared up.

"I was tempted to introduce Navid. I probably would have if we had 11 players on the pitch," added McDermott. "I was forced to make different changes due to no fault of our own. Friday night's game was the first of six in 21 days, which is a bit hectic.

"It's a heavy schedule. Everyone will play, we have a big enough squad, but we must start picking up some positive results."

Even though it was a backs-to-the-wall job for the last half-hour against the Reds, the Glens could well have salvaged a draw deep into injury-time only for goalkeeper Richard Brush to produce an astonishing save to keep out a Herron header.

McDermott added: "We created four good chances at the end, but it was always going to be hard to dig out.

"I still don't quite know how the goalkeeper saved Herron's header right at the end."

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