Belfast Telegraph

McDermott orders Glens to sharpen up for Swifts battle

Fighting back: Glentoran boss Mick McDermott wants his team to respond to their midweek County Antrim Shield defeat
Fighting back: Glentoran boss Mick McDermott wants his team to respond to their midweek County Antrim Shield defeat

By Alex Mills

Although the season of goodwill is approaching, Glentoran boss Mick McDermott has warned his boys not to be handing out any gifts when Dungannon Swifts visit the Oval tomorrow.

McDermott is still a little miffed about the midweek County Antrim Shield defeat by Cliftonville, claiming his team not only handed the Reds a winning goal - scored by the irrepressible Joe Gormley - but were shot shy at the other end of the pitch as well.

Having dropped crucial Danske Bank Premiership points last time out when held to a draw by Institute, McDermott insists it's time the gloves came off and is demanding a more ruthless approach.

"That was as poor a goal we've conceded all season," he said, referring to Gormley's midweek effort that booked the Reds a Shield final slot against Ballymena United in January.

"Joe Gormley does what he does better than any player in the league, which is sneak in behind and our two central defenders let him - it was criminal to concede the way we did.

"To get caught out like that from a dead ball in their half of the pitch is not acceptable. Yes, Joe is brilliant at what he does, but it was poor on our part."

McDermott wasn't over impressed with his boys up front either.

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"We can't afford to create three or four chances and not make them count," he added. "Paul O'Neill had one in the first-half; Darren Murray was guilty after the break. John Herron had a big chance in the second half. None of them hit the target.

"They (Cliftonville) scored their goal and didn't commit that much forward after that. They were aggressive, they are fit and strong. The reality is we are not in the final, so we must get on with the next game - it was down to fine margins, like so many games in this league.

"It's not just about having a go at the defenders, the team is to blame because of lapses in concentration at both ends."

McDermott insists in important the Glens get back to a winning theme against a Dungannon side that has gone off the rails recently.

He added: "They have been struggling for results of late and, more importantly, we know we need a victory. Every league match is massive.

"We dropped points against Institute, which shouldn't have happened. We created enough chances to win three matches, so we know we need a result against Dungannon.

"Cliftonville are at the top of the league for a reason. They are a decent team. I've said that from the start of the season.

"It's not by luck. They work hard, they are aggressive, they are organised and they get the job done. They may win by one goal, but it's enough for three points.

"This game is a big one for Dungannon Swifts - and for us. I don't think they will come to the Oval and try to play an expansive game, I think they'll come to try and get a point.

"Kris (Lindsay) has them organised. They went to Larne a few weeks ago and got a scoreless draw. They may have been criticised, but they did what that had to do, so we must be ready for that.

"We know what to expect. We know their players, we know the coach. It will be a difficult one for us, but I know our fans will be looking for a result after our Shield defeat."

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