Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran need fans' support in Big Two derby, says McFall

By Graham Luney

Ronnie McFall is in the mood to deepen Linfield’s woes on Saturday.

The legendary boss will walk out as a Glentoran manager at Windsor Park for the first time in over three decades and he’s not ready to offer his counterpart David Healy any relief from the storm that currently engulfs him.

Healy accepts his side have got nowhere near the standards they set when three trophies were grasped last season, and this week’s Irish Cup loss to Cliftonville means the trophy cabinet won’t be unlocked any time soon.

With the old enemy Glentoran now showing a renewed sense of purpose under McFall, this is another intriguing Big Two test that will shine a spotlight on Linfield’s mettle.

The Blues could certainly do with a lift but former Portadown chief McFall will show no mercy to this wounded animal.

“The Big Two games are always special but it’s not really about me, it’s about the players and hopefully they can enjoy the occasion and deliver the result the fans want,” he said.

“Since I have come into the club, the players have been brilliant and their attitude and commitment has been very pleasing. They’ve got the hunger and desire Glentoran players need to have, no question about it.

“I’ve wanted the players to come off the pitch physically and mentally drained and they have set the bar in terms of their approach.

“The challenge for us is to maintain that attitude and keep working hard. The boys are motivated to do that and this is another big game for us.

“Glentoran and Linfield are the two biggest clubs in the country, they have the biggest fanbases and high expectations in terms of silverware.

“Certainly I can say I’ve really appreciated our fans’ support. They are needed to drive the team on and hopefully that continues.

“I’m not really concerned about how Linfield’s season has been going as I’m focused on helping Glentoran but, regardless of recent results, we know form goes out the window on these big occasions.

“We have got to maintain our focus, keep our eye on the ball and hopefully secure a place in the top six and fight for a Europa League place.”

Belfast Telegraph

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