Belfast Telegraph

It's been tough, but Glentoran are now on right track, says Haveron

Glentoran v Carrick Rangers, Danske Bank Premiership: The Oval, Today, 3.00pm

By Steven Beacom

Gary Haveron has opened up about his 'difficult' first season as manager of Glentoran, admitting it has been hard to enjoy being in The Oval office hotseat.

The Glens boss has also spoken of his pride at the perfect start to the campaign made by his young guns this time around.

Last term, having taken over from Alan Kernaghan just a month and a half after the big kick-off, Haveron's team finished a disappointing ninth in the table.

It is not where Haveron or Glentoran expected to be, but the manager believes there were reasons behind the lowly position, stating that there is a new feel and energy to the current side after much comings and goings at the club in the summer.

Results would suggest that Haveron has a valid point, with the east Belfast men defeating Ballinamallard United and Dungannon Swifts in their opening two fixtures. Victory over Haveron's old side Carrick Rangers at The Oval today would maintain an impeccable record.

Such a prospect seemed lightyears away during some tough times last season.

Haveron said: "It has been difficult. It would be a lie to say it has been enjoyable but I was realistic about what I was coming into.

"I realised where I felt the team was falling flat and I was honest with the board when I applied for the job relating to where the problems lay.

"It was a case of damage limitation towards the end of last season where we could have a bit of a clear out and assess what we needed to bring in.

"Last season I was in among boys who I was younger than and the same age as, but there is a different dynamic about this side and I feel I have a greater sense of responsibility towards them. Last season we had a lot of senior players. This group is a younger, more vibrant group.

"We have started really well and won games we would not have won last season. The encouraging thing is that we had five teenagers on the park against Dungannon, and that can only be a good thing going forward if they can carry on progressing at the rate they are.

"It won't be all plain sailing, but at the moment they are enjoying being part of a massive football club. There was a bit of energy around the ground on Tuesday in our win over Dungannon with the fans. I'm proud of the players, genuinely proud of them," said Haveron, who deserves credit too.

Adding a cautionary note, he commented: "It's been great to get two wins out of two, but we have done nothing yet. We could turn up on Saturday and get beaten by Carrick and you are a clown again.

"My dad always says 'don't take the highs too high and the lows too low', and in management that's the way you must be.

"What I want is for our team to bring the fear factor back for opposition sides playing Glentoran. I think that has been lost in the last few years and the aim is to get that back."

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