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We’ll make up for our Gibson failure: Nixon

Colin Nixon has apologised for Glentoran’s inability to retain their Carling Premiership crown, but promised fans that the players will do everything within their power to, at least, ensure European qualification.

It’s looking almost certain that Linfield will take the Gibson Cup back to Windsor Park, with David Jeffrey’s men needing, at most, one more win to clinch the title.

It’s been a disappointing campaign for the Glens, with the east Belfast men widely tipped to secure their first back-to-back success in over 40 years.

But inconsistent results and some very poor performances saw them fall behind in the championship chase and in the end cost them their manager, Alan McDonald, just months after celebrating that title glory at the Oval last May.

Scott Young, having been given the manager’s job on an interim basis in the wake of McDonald’s exit, this week accepted the post on a permanent basis, with Roy Coyle returning to the club in an advisory capacity.

Nixon believes that Young was deserving of his chance and now feels that the buzz the new boss has given the team can see them take second place in the league and a place in the Europa League next season.

And should it not happen, Nixon feels it would be disastrous for a club of Glentoran’s stature.

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“We have to make sure that this team is playing in Europe next season — that is the very least that this club expects to achieve at the beginning of the season,” he said. “We should have still been pushing to win the league and I am very sorry that that isn’t the

case but we’ve to look at our objectives now for the rest of the season and that is to finish in second.

“In my whole time at the club we have only failed to qualify for Europe once and it was a catastrophe — Glentoran have to be in Europe every year.

“At the start of the season you set out your objectives to win the league and the Irish Cup, if that doesn’t happen then European qualification is the very least that everyone at the club expects.”

However, Nixon will be forced to drive the Glens on from the sidelines today when they take on Crusaders at Seaview as he is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the recent league defeat to Linfield.

The Glens’ record appearance maker will be joined in the stands by Shane McCabe, Johnny Taylor, Johnny Black and Jamie McGovern who are all also banned while Paul Leeman is a long term injury casualty.

It gives Young something of a headache in his first game in charge as permanent boss but Nixon feels the Scotsman is well equipped to cope with the task.

“I was delighted that Scott got the job because he deserved it,” he said. “He has brought in fresh ideas and an enthusiasm that has caught on amongst the players.

“Roy Coyle coming back, I suppose was a bit of a surprise but the theory behind it backs it up.

“People have talked about Scott’s lack of experience so who better then to have helping you than Roy Coyle.

“In Scott’s defence though, when they say about his lack of experience, where are you supposed to get it from? You have to be given a chance to prove yourself with your own players and your own ideas and now he has got that I am confident that he will be a massive success at Glentoran.”

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