Learning curve for young Glentoran side
Eddie Patterson is challenging his youthful Glentoran squad to keep pace with the title challengers – even though he never expected them to be among the chasing pack in the first place.
And the Oval boss also wants Monday night's 2-0 loss to Portadown to be a learning experience for his young players after claiming that the second-half of the game 'passed them by.'
An eight-match unbeaten run, which was bookended by defeats against the Ports, has shot the Glens into fourth place.
The three teams above them – Crusaders, Linfield and Cliftonville – are all considered serious title contenders, so the east Belfast men can't be written off, despite the fact that only two members of the first team squad are over the age of 30.
"The players have to get their heads right in preparation for Saturday – it's a massive game if we want to hang onto the coat tails of those three teams above us," said Patterson, ahead of tomorrow's Oval meeting with Warrenpoint Town.
"I didn't expect to be in this position at this stage of the season with the personnel that we have at the minute, but we are two points behind Cliftonville and six points off the lead so we're not that far off it.
"We are still a work in progress, we a are very young, naive and inexperienced side when you consider some of the lads who are in the squad.
"The Portadown game is something that hopefully they will learn from. They will win games and lose games along the way. They are inexperienced, but they are working hard for each other.
"Monday night's game was one that passed us by in the second-half."
Patterson will recall teenage striker Jordan Stewart to the team after his missed Monday night's game through suspension.
The Glens are, however, facing up to being without midfielder David Howland for the rest of the season after he had surgery to repair knee ligament damage.