Belfast Telegraph

McDermott on mission to shatter Glentoran's Seaview jinx

Clear aim: Mick McDermott is eyeing Glentoran’s first win at Seaview in eight years
Clear aim: Mick McDermott is eyeing Glentoran’s first win at Seaview in eight years

By Alex Mills

Glentoran boss Mick McDermott will urge his boys to end eight years of hurt when they travel across town to face Crusaders at Seaview today.

It could be argued that it's hardly the ideal time to go looking for your first Danske Bank Premiership win on the Shore Road since August 2011 given Stephen Baxter's Crues suffered their first defeat of the campaign last weekend, but McDermott is having none of it.

In fact, he's of the opinion that it's vital to strike while the iron is hot.

As Crusaders were being dismantled by an impressive Coleraine side at the Showgrounds, Glentoran were grinding out a crucial win at home to Warrenpoint Town - a victory described by McDermott as "essential" following the Big Two loss to Linfield the previous weekend.

Although north Belfast hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Glentoran, McDermott is determined to buck the trend.

"The boys are not here to sit back and have another season or two similar to what they have suffered in the past," he said. "They are not here to finish eighth in the table.

"Every three points is crucial for us, whether it's against Warrenpoint, Linfield, Cliftonville or Crusaders. Obviously, emotions run high when Linfield are involved because of the rivalry.

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"But we are Glentoran Football Club. We go out in every game to put in a performance and if we do that, the three points will follow. Paul (Millar) and I are fully aware of the club's poor record at Seaview - it's been eight years since we've won there.

"Against that background, we're going there under no pressure. The Crues will be clear favourites, as they are to win the league along with Linfield.

"But we'll be going there to show people what Glentoran are all about - we'll not be going there to make up the numbers. We'll never do that.

"The players have been told what's expected of them. We want to give the fans something to cheer."

McDermott will be boosted by the fact that he'll have almost a full squad available for what will be another acid test on a journey that has gathered momentum since the club's summer takeover by Iranian businessman Ali Pour.

"Thomas Byrne and Jonny Frazer are both back in the squad," he said. "Gavin Peers isn't quite as clear cut, so we'll have a late fitness test.

"Still missing are Calum Birney and Curtis Allen. Having seen a specialist, Curtis began his treatment this week. It was a bit of a mystery for us to try to figure out what was wrong.

"I'm hoping to have him back training within the next week. He is a player with massive quality. Had he been playing last week (against Warrenpoint), he would have scored three or four. I'm looking forward to getting him back."

McDermott admits he is satisfied with the way things have panned out so far - his team occupy fourth place in the table, five points adrift of Crusaders.

"It's still early days but we've shown character, especially when we conceded early on," he said. "The pleasing thing is that the players don't panic, they'll go right until the 94th minute. They showed a lot of discipline and passion. That helps build belief.

"Our supporters have also been great, coming out in big numbers. They know what we are attempting to build at this club. Perhaps we weren't at our best last weekend, but we still got the three points.

"Sometimes you have to do the dirty side of the game to grind out a result, which we did against Warrenpoint. We should have been out of sight at half-time - we created about 10 chances, but I don't think we hit the target other than the goal we scored. It's not easy to create that many chances in any game.

"I told the players if they don't put away these teams, they could come back to bite us. We made a silly error in the middle of the park, which led to their goal. We were punished big style. But we got hold of it when we made a few changes. Cricky Gallagher came in and did well and big Cameron (Stewart) caused them a few problems. His flick on for the winning goal by Patrick McClean was great."

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