Watch: Glentoran can pick up festive form to prepare for another Irish Cup run, insists Ross Redman
Ross Redman is hopeful that Glentoran could yet turn the current season into a success story.
The Glens are currently sixth in the Danske Bank Premiership table, above their ninth placed finish last season, but there have been signs of supporter unrest.
The side were jeered as they left the Oval pitch after the home defeat to Ards last month. Glentoran have won only one of their last six league outings but with five Premiership fixtures packed tightly over the Christmas period, Redman is hopeful that run can be flipped around.
"It's a hard period over Christmas but you can pick up a lot of points if you put a run together," he said.
"You look at last year, we were ninth in the table so we're moving up from then. We've lost touch with the top five teams in the league at the minute with Ballymena just behind us fighting for sixth place."
Redman has missed Glentoran's last three games to add to a spate of injury concerns but the former Portadown full-back is hoping to face Cliftonville at Solitude on Saturday and that the squad will be healthier for a packed period.
"We've had a lot of injuries," he said. "We had five or six first team players in the stand a couple of weeks ago against Ards. It's hard for us because we can see the boys trying hard on the pitch and it's just not coming off. When you have the quality of Curtis Allen, James Knowles and Calum Birney in the stand, you're going to miss them.
"Hopefully we can get players back coming up to Christmas."
Redman was speaking at the Tennent's Irish Cup fifth round draw, where his side were handed a trip to the Championship's current basement side Lurgan Celtic.
"When I was at Portadown a couple of years ago they put us out at the quarter-final stage," recalled Redman.
"Obviously it's going to be hard for us. They're not on a great run but we're the same. With big matches coming up before then, it's hard to look at it at the minute."
The Glens have a great Irish Cup pedigree with 22 titles, two in recent seasons.
"One against myself at Portadown - the boys always remind me about that," smiled Redman. "It's something we're looking forward to. We're hopeful that we can come here in May and play in the final."
Belfast Telegraph Digital