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Mick McDermott: Irish League can complete a 38-game season despite supposed Uefa deadline

Glens boss claims Uefa will agree to June finish and his team will be in the title mix


Mick McDermott

Mick McDermott


Mick McDermott

Glentoran boss Mick McDermott believes the Irish League can fulfil all 38 rounds of games - with his side still in the title race by the end.

And he sees no reason why some fixtures cannot be pushed into June to ensure a full programme is completed. Most clubs still have half a season or more to play, due to Covid and weather disruption - the Glens have 20 league matches left.

Uefa require European club nominations by June 1 - but McDermott feels that can be overcome, saying: "I don't know what the urgency is.

"I know the Uefa deadline is May 31 to announce teams, but the European games don't take place until well into July.

"Every year - it is not like we are trying to make something up here - when the brackets come out for Europe, it will say, for example, 'Cup winner Bulgaria versus Glentoran' because they haven't completed yet.

"So if we need to play the Irish Cup in June, if we need to play a few league games in June, to accomplish the 38, then that is possible, 33 is definitely likely - and I don't mean likely to stop there, but it will definitely break the 33 games."

The Danske Bank Premiership is playing catch-up after the Covid crisis caused havoc.

The campaign started on October 17 - more than two months late - and had a two-week circuit-breaker in January.

Matches have also been postponed because of cases of the virus at individual clubs.

Bad weather has caused a host of postponements too, leaving little room for manoeuvre. Some teams face up to nine games in March alone, including the Glens.

They host Big Two rivals Linfield tomorrow night and McDermott still has hopes of chasing down a 12-point deficit to stay in the title mix.

He added: "You have to believe that - it's mathematically still possible. So we still have to believe it and until it is mathematically gone, in this league you can't write anything off."

Belfast Telegraph

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