Patterson back on bench and dreaming of Shield success
Eddie Patterson returns to the dug-out for tomorrow night's County Antrim Shield semi-final with Glentoran hoping to oversee his side maintain their unbeaten start to the domestic season.
Windsor was the scene of the Reds' last defeat - to Gent in the Intertoto Cup - but they have since been back to dump Linfield from the Shield as they attempt to do what no Cliftonville side has done since 1901 and successfully defend a trophy.
A 2-1 defeat of Lisburn Distillery in January's final brought the Shield back to Solitude for the first time in a decade and Patterson is determined to keep it.
"It would be tremendous if we could win it again and we'll be going all out to do so, but we can't afford to even dare thinking about the final when we have a team like Glentoran to contend with first," said Patterson.
"They, like ourselves, are unbeaten domestically and have a fine tradition of winning trophies. I won my first honour as manager in this same competition last year and I'm sure Alan McDonald would like to do so himself this season. "
The Reds have reached this stage thanks to a nervy victory over Newington and that excellent 2-0 success against the Blues and tomorrow's showdown is a repeat of last year's semi-final, when Mark Holland's extra-time penalty sent the Glens tumbling out of the competition.
Patterson - who completed a four-match touchline ban in Saturday's 2-0 win over Portadown - refuses to entertain the idea that Glentoran will have revenge in mind.
"They won't be thinking about revenge or anything like that, they'll just be going out to try and win a football match," he said.
"They have started the season brilliantly, but then again so have we and this one is shaping up to be another close-fought encounter."