Belfast Telegraph

McFall backs Breslin to break the mould

By Stuart McKinley

Ronnie McFall is backing Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin to end his reign as the only manager to win back-to-back league titles with a club outside of Glentoran, Linfield or the now defunct Belfast Celtic.

It may be wily McFall's attempt at mind games ahead of taking his team to Solitude tonight, but on early season form it's hard to argue.

The Reds go into the game as the only team to have won all four games in league and cup and with Joe Gormley scoring nine times so far they also have a striker who McFall believes is as good as there is in the Premiership.

"I think Cliftonville are the team to beat," said McFall, who led Portadown to their first title in 1990 and then retained it a year later.

"You look at their squad and it's bigger than Linfield's. They have a lot of quality in it too.

"For me they are the odds-on favourites to win the league.

"In Joe Gormley and Liam Boyce they have one of the best striking partnerships there has been in the league for a while and they are a real handful."

"They create a lot of chances as a team and with the firepower they have it's hard to look past them."

McFall's squad has already been ripped apart by injuries this season.

He lost Tim Mouncey before a ball was kicked after he had to undergo surgery to have his appendix removed.

Keith O'Hara will miss the next two months after breaking a bone in his foot on the opening day against Linfield and a week later Ross Redman suffered a cruciate ligament injury that has already ended his season.

Although the transfer window is about to close McFall won't be rushing to add to his squad.

"We have a strong enough 11, but after that we're light," he said.

"I won't be bringing anyone in for the sake of it, anyone we sign will have to be an asset to the team. Anyone we do sign will be a free agent anyway, so the window won't affect us."

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