Belfast Telegraph

Ronnie McFall didn't deserve to leave Glentoran on such a sour note, laments Curtis Allen


Staying put: Curtis Allen says he won’t be leaving the Glens
Staying put: Curtis Allen says he won’t be leaving the Glens

By Graham Luney

Curtis Allen has said he was saddened by Ronnie McFall's departure as Glentoran manager.

The former long-serving Portadown supremo stepped down as Oval chief after the Glens' 4-2 defeat at home to Dungannon Swifts.

Former player Gary Smyth has taken charge and is assisted by ex-club captain Paul Leeman and coach Kieran Harding.

Smyth's first game in charge of the east Belfast side was a 4-1 Irish Cup loss at Crusaders last Saturday and his first Premiership clash at the helm is this afternoon at Institute.

The Dungannon defeat was their 10th league match in a row without a win - the worst run in the club's 137-year history.

Poor form has seen the Glens slip into a survival fight but McFall  was expected to remain in charge for the rest of the season and his departure following some stinging criticism from the fans was a sad end to a remarkable managerial career.

"It's been a disappointing time for the club but it was probably the right time for Ronnie to leave," said Allen.

"I don't think he deserved some of the stick he got coming off the pitch after all he has achieved in the game, it's not nice to hear it.

"Now Smicker and Leeper have a chance to change things sooner than expected.

"But it's no use playing well in patches. Our defending has been criminal unfortunately.

"There is quality in the squad, we have good players but we are in the position we are because of performances and the squad needs to stick together and come out fighting.

"We showed heart in the Irish Cup game against Crusaders and if we can repeat that attitude in the league games we should turn things around.

"The frustrating thing for us this season is we haven't been able to put in a 90-minute performance and we have got to look at the defending for the goals.

"That's been a weakness for us this season and you can't give away poor goals against teams like Crusaders."

Allen insists that he's committed to the Glens despite speculation he could depart the club this month.

"We put in a good shift against the Crues for most of the game and we need to take the positives of that," he added.

"If we can create more up front and stop conceding goals we can get back on track. This game against Institute is a big one.

"There have been rumours flying about but I'm a Glentoran player and I'll be doing my best to get the club moving in the right direction."

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