Belfast Telegraph

Morris is urging Glens to soothe pain of losing streak

By Graham Luney

Glentoran's winter of discontent is rumbling on with fans unable to keep a lid on their frustration but keeper Elliott Morris has assured them the players are hurting.

Four straight league defeats have set off a few alarm bells, leaving the Glens sweating on a top six place ahead of the league split.

Alan Kernaghan has struggled to get his charges flying and confidence has been dented after a disastrous 4-0 home loss to basement battlers Warrenpoint Town ahead of a tricky trip to Glenavon tomorrow.

Morris is feeling the pain in more ways than one as a persistent back injury has limited his opportunities to put his shoulder to the wheel.

A fresh setback during training on Monday night rules him out of the Mourneview battle and he's facing a race against time to be fit for the Irish Cup date with the Lurgan Blues next weekend.

Morris, however, is more concerned about the long-term picture at The Oval with the Glens resembling a sleeping giant that is struggling to awaken.

"The players are hurting, it's not like we are sitting here and not caring," said Morris, whose next appearance will be his 600th for the club.

"We've been unlucky with injuries with myself, Davy Howland, Willie Garrett, Kym Nelson and Stephen McAlorum all out but that's not an excuse for our poor form.

"With the greatest of respect to teams such as Warrenpoint and Dungannon Swifts, we should be beating them and the fans' frustration is understandable. We feel it too as we aren't doing the basics right.

"We can play quite well against Linfield on Boxing Day and go 2-0 ahead against Crusaders at Seaview but the results have not been positive and then you get the pressure that comes with that.

"Four league defeats in a row is not good enough and we realise that. The time has come to grind out a victory if that is what we have to do and although Glenavon away is a tough fixture, the team will go there with belief and determination to turn the corner.

"We drew 0-0 there in August and won 2-0 at The Oval in November. We can beat the top teams and with the Irish Cup and race for a European place there is a lot to play for."

Morris, who joined the Glens in July 2002, knows a goal difference of minus six is a poor statistic.

"I think we need to get our finger out defensively as if we don't stop conceding silly goals we will keep getting punished," he added.

"Roy Coyle says that while forwards can win you matches, a strong back five is needed to win titles and we need to perform better as a defensive unit.

"As the team is going through a difficult period I wanted to help us get through this tough patch but it's not always the case that things work out the way you hoped."

On the transfer front, a rumoured swap deal involving Glenavon's Kevin Braniff and Calum Birney has failed to materialise.

Belfast Telegraph


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