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Paul O'Neill keen to haunt Larne again and help extend Glentoran streak

 

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Striker Paul O'Neill

Striker Paul O'Neill

�INPHO/Brain Little

Striker Paul O'Neill

Striker Paul O'Neill insists no one at Glentoran will be bragging about their impressive unbeaten run - as they aim to do their talking on the pitch.

Mick McDermott's boys approach today's clash against erratic Larne at Inver Park having racked up a stunning 15-match sequence without defeat - a run that has taken them to the top of the Premiership table.

The omens are good for the east Belfast side, because they have won their three previous meetings with Tiernan Lynch's team.

O'Neill, in particular, has been a thorn in the flesh of Larne - he bagged a double when the teams last met in east Antrim, before Paddy McClean hit a sensational winner.

"I've good memories from my last visit up there," said the 20-year-old. "In fact, I've scored three goals in two games against Larne this season.

"I enjoy playing at Inver Park. It's a great pitch to get the ball down and play a bit of football. It's similar to a grass pitch. I'm just hoping I get a starting shirt and I get the chance to do what I did last time."

Even though the Glens are flying, O'Neill admits manager McDermott has the knack of keeping everyone grounded.

"It's basically now one game at a time," he said. "There is no stupid talk around the dressing room of what we've done or can do. The boss has drilled that into us. There is no loose talk. He maintains the biggest game is always the one in front of us. With 14 rounds to go, anything can happen.

"The team have a never-say-die attitude. Even when we are chasing games, we are always confident of scoring. A big percentage of our goals now come in the last half-hour. I think that shows our fitness levels are where they should be.

"It's a contrast to a few years back because we had the habit of conceding late goals. When that happened, we just hadn't the confidence or the hunger to come back from it."

With the addition of Caolan Marron and Andy Mitchell from Glenavon, O'Neill reckons the Glens have a squad capable of maintaining their challenge.

"We are doing well, but that's because we have such a big squad," he added. "Mick was able to chop and change the team over the Christmas period and it helped keep everyone fresh.

"We have two players, at least, of the same quality for every position. The competition for places is fierce. Everyone knows they can't afford to have a poor game because there is someone there ready to take your shirt.

"Winning gives you a real buzz and there is a real buzz around The Oval these days."

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