Glentoran's next step is to rattle the top sides, says captain Kane
Glentoran skipper Marcus Kane insists the club is going in the right direction on and off the pitch and has revealed this has been his most enjoyable campaign at The Oval to date.
The latter point is quite the statement given that Kane has been with the east Belfast outfit for eight seasons, experiencing Irish Cup success in two of them.
Highly respected by the fans and fellow players for his commitment to the cause, Kane is looking for the Glens to kick on in the months ahead, starting with tomorrow's trip to Cliftonville.
The Reds are where the Glens want to be down the line - challenging for the league title. Should Mick McDermott's fifth-placed team triumph in north Belfast, they will be five points behind Paddy McLaughlin's side with a fixture in hand.
For some time, Cliftonville have had the better of Glentoran in important games, and defender Kane says to move to a higher level they must go to places like Solitude and leave with maximum points.
"The next step for us is to take points from the top teams," stated the 28-year-old.
"We have had good results against Larne, Ballymena and others, and now we have to do it against the likes of Cliftonville, Linfield and Crusaders.
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"It's something we have struggled with in previous seasons, though our squad has been strengthened this season and we believe we can compete with anyone.
"It's a long time since we beat Cliftonville in a meaningful match. They are tough opposition and are up there with the best in the league for the attacking side of their game, but we have our own forwards who I would rate just as highly.
"We are progressing nicely and hopefully we can get a win at Solitude because a result like that would kick us on even more and give us a big boost ahead of a really busy period of fixtures in December."
Kane has seen good times and bad at The Oval, those Irish Cup wins in 2013 and 2015, financial problems, a succession of managers and most recently major investment.
"This season it's been the best it's been in my time and this is my eighth season at the club," he said.
"I loved the first few years. They were exciting. You are like a baby deer when you first go to the club trying to find your feet.
"We won two Irish Cups in that period, and then came the financial issues and we had three or four managers in the space of a couple of years, which is hard for any club to cope with.
"To have the plans that are in place now on and off the pitch is fantastic, not just for the club but also the players and the fans who can see where Glentoran want to go.
"With the quality we have brought in we have moved forward, and the supporters are with us which is important.
"When the fans get behind us it gives the team that bit extra on the pitch.
"From my own perspective I'm playing with a smile on my face and we have a good bunch of lads who know when to have craic and when to get serious.
"The training is good, the work at the ground has just made the place a whole lot brighter, the results are coming and there is a determination to keep driving forward, which is exactly what is needed at a big club like Glentoran."