Belfast Telegraph

Reds must be on guard as Stute have a real point to prove: Harney

Cautious mind: Jamie Harney knows Stute pose a danger
Cautious mind: Jamie Harney knows Stute pose a danger

By Alex Mills

Cliftonville defender Jamie Harney insists his team will be on red alert when Institute make the journey to Solitude today.

The North West side may have started the Danske Bank Premiership campaign poorly - they have picked up only one point from seven outings - but with a new man in charge in the shape of Sean Connor, the team will have a fresh impetus and the challenge to inch clear of the drop zone.

Connor wasn't involved last weekend, but he watched his new team consume a 4-1 home tanking by an impressive Larne side.

At the same time, the Reds bounced back to form with a thumping 4-0 victory at Dungannon Swifts.

"It will be a big test," said Harney. "We've had a good chat in training this week. When a new manager comes in, everyone knows that lifts spirits and morale. Players will want to react, they'll have a point to prove.

"Then there is the history between Paddy (McLaughlin), his backroom staff and the ex-Institute players that have joined Cliftonville this season. That will be an added incentive for them.

"They were difficult opponents last season, we'll not forget that, but we are all looking forward to it and ready to meet the challenge."

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Following home defeats by Crusaders and Linfield, Harney believes it's crucial for the Reds to strike back.

"It's important to get back to a winning trend at Solitude," added Harney. "We had the best home record of all the teams last season, especially since Paddy took over.

"That doesn't say much for our away form, though.

"When we analysed the Crusaders game, it just wasn't good enough and we tried to rectify that. We wanted a performance against Linfield and matched them in every department, but they are champions for a reason.

"Although they were not playing to their full potential, they managed to grind out the result - it was a difficult one for us to take.

"Paddy made sure we knew that. But he also wanted us to take the positives from the performance."

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