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Larne manager Tiernan Lynch sees the eye of the tiger in his players after Co Antrim Shield triumph


Tiernan Lynch sees something different, for the better, in his Larne squad

Tiernan Lynch sees something different, for the better, in his Larne squad

Tiernan Lynch sees something different, for the better, in his Larne squad

Larne manager Tiernan Lynch has told his players that they must follow up the midweek County Antrim Shield final success with another important victory at home to Dungannon Swifts in the Premiership today.

The Inver Park faithful are still on cloud nine after seeing their side defeat champions Linfield 1-0 at Seaview in Tuesday’s compelling Shield decider, but in football the feel-good factor can quickly fade and will do at Larne unless they deliver against Dean Shiels’ improving side.

Fourth-placed Larne are eight points behind league leaders Linfield and, as experienced defender Albert Watson told the Belfast Telegraph earlier this week, they need to be ‘flawless’ in their pursuit of the Blues.

Lynch, who snapped up striker Lee Bonis from Portadown last weekend, said: “There’s no point winning the final if you are going to take your eye off the ball come the Dungannon game.

“This team over the last two or three weeks you can sense something different about them. They have that eye of the tiger.

“Training is at a different level and that is all credit to the players, who have been working unbelievably hard. There is now competition. This is the first time we have had everyone available, bar Jeff Hughes who is out injured, and bringing Lee (Bonis) in also gives us different options on the frontline and something we didn’t have.

“There are a lot of hungry people who didn’t get on the pitch against Linfield who probably felt a little bit aggrieved and rightly so.

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“We changed things tactically and people didn’t play when they probably deserved to play based on their last couple of performances, but that’s part and parcel of what we see as a quality squad, not necessarily a big squad.

“As I’ve been saying to them, if we are going to go and do any kind of damage we need to be together and collective and it can’t be about individuals. You can only play 11 and that’s the hardest part of management, leaving people out and telling them they are not involved, especially when you watch them work so hard all week. It has to be about all of us.”

That team togetherness was a quality that Dungannon boss Shiels felt his players showed in their midweek 2-1 victory at Warrenpoint, moving them eight points above Barry Gray’s bottom of the table side.

Since then the Stangmore Park outfit have strengthened their squad with the arrival of experienced defender Garry Breen from Cliftonville.

Rather than looking below them in the battle to avoid relegation, Dungannon are now viewing Carrick above them by three points and thinking they can catch them. It would be a shock if they could take anything from Larne but they will go there in good heart.

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