Conor McMenamin admitted his impressive performance against Crusaders at Seaview on Friday night was payback to Glentoran boss Mick McDermott.
The 26-year-old, making his first appearance after suspension and injury had ruled him out since December 27, not only bagged a priceless goal, but also set up the winner for Robbie McDaid.
It was a crucial victory for the Glens, who are keeping the heat on Linfield at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership table, but only a few days earlier, McMenamin was lazing on a beach in Marbella after being given an unexpected break by his boss.
“This time last week I was sitting on the beach in Spain,” he said after his match-winning performance against the Crues.
“I got a couple of days off, so I took my five-year-old daughter Daisy for a wee break in the sun.
“I was joking with the gaffer before the game (against Crusaders), saying this time last week I was sitting having a pint in a beach bar.
“The gaffer was great with me. Because I was suspended, he told me to go off and take a break. It was great, it gave me the chance to recharge the batteries.
“It was good to come back and make an impact in such a big game — and it was also good to repay the gaffer for giving me those couple of days off, although he said to me before the game I’d better look fresh and fit in a joking way.”
McMenamin admits it will take another big effort from his team to see off Coleraine in tonight’s big showdown at The Oval.
“It was a big win at Seaview, but we’ve come through a really tough few weeks, taking 10 points from a possible 15,” he added.
“It’s another difficult one against Coleraine. They are all big games now, but we have shown great character in the last two games, coming back from being a goal down at Solitude and Seaview to win the games.
“It was massive and it can only give the group confidence.”
McMenamin stated the performance at Seaview was also dedicated to the Donnelly brothers — Jay and Ruaidhri — who lost their mother last week.
“The win was very much for Jay and Ruaidhri and on the tragic loss of their mum. We said we had to get three points for the boys,” he said.
“They were very much in our thoughts and the gaffer said if you don’t want to do it for yourself (win the game), do it for the boys.”