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David McDaid keen to repay Paddy McClean when Larne host Glentoran

Larne v Glentoran, Danske Bank Premiership, Inver Park, Tomorrow, 5.30pm


Tough taskmaster: Davy McDaid has challenged Larne to see
off Glentoran and Linfield in the coming days

Tough taskmaster: Davy McDaid has challenged Larne to see off Glentoran and Linfield in the coming days

�INPHO/Evan Logan

Andrew Mitchell

Andrew Mitchell

©INPHO/Jonathan Porter

Tough taskmaster: Davy McDaid has challenged Larne to see off Glentoran and Linfield in the coming days

Striker Davy McDaid believes if Larne are to bridge the gap on the league's top five clubs, their next two fixtures against Belfast's Big Two are 'must win' games.

Tiernan Lynch's boys, who gained promotion last season, are sitting in a healthy sixth place in the Danske Bank Premiership table but are a whopping 12 points behind McDaid's former club Cliftonville.

Their aspirations of reeling in the Reds will be put to the test over the next four days because they face Glentoran tomorrow at Inver Park before rolling out the welcome mat for title holders Linfield on Tuesday night - by which time they are likely to have Blues midfielder Andrew Mitchell on board, with the 27-year-old's transfer between the clubs imminent.

McDaid insists if the east Antrim team want to muscle in with big boys, they must take six points.

"We are currently in a position that it's going to be difficult to catch the team in front of us, but we are well above the team below us," he said.

"The top five are well away at this moment in time, so what we need to do is beat them when we play them - that's our target.

"Our next two games are against Glentoran and Linfield. If we want bridge the gap, we must beat both of those teams to make up the ground on them."

McDaid is also determined to get last week's 3-0 defeat against Crusaders flushed out of the system.

"We have to put it down as a terrible day at the office," he added. "In fact, it was one of our worst performances of the season.

"Credit to Crusaders, they had a game plan and it worked. Unfortunately, our game plan didn't.

"We just were not at the races from start to finish.

"They scored their three goals inside the first half hour and it was game over.

"Had we managed to pull one back before the break, it could have been different. It was a tough day all round."

McDaid is again looking forward to facing his former Derry City colleague Paddy McClean when the Glens leave their calling card tomorrow.

The big defender hit the crucial winner - a spectacular overhead kick - when the teams last met at Inver Park, which earned the Glens a 3-2 win.

"Ever since he scored that, he's never let me live it down, so I need to return the favour," quipped McDaid.

"It's going to be a tough game, Glentoran are playing really well at the moment. They are now unbeaten for a long time and their manager seems to be working wonders with them.

"He strengthened the squad again recently by signing Andrew Mitchell and Caolan Marron from Glenavon, they are two quality players. They now have one of the strongest squads in the league.

"This is the time of the year that titles are won. It's all about putting yourself into contention coming up to the festive period.

"But from January until April, it's now down to the team that shows the most consistency."

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