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Glentoran players deserve all the credit for Irish Cup success, claims manager Mick McDermott



Glentoran captain Marcus Kane lifts the Irish Cup trophy with his team-mates

Glentoran captain Marcus Kane lifts the Irish Cup trophy with his team-mates

Glentoran captain Marcus Kane lifts the Irish Cup trophy with his team-mates

Glentoran manager Mick McDermott has heaped praise on his Irish Cup-winning players, admitting he has battles with them every day and that he is not easy to work with.

McDermott was proud to win his first trophy in charge of the Glens having taken the reins at the end of March last year and is determined to bring more to The Oval.

In a revealing appraisal after Friday night's 2-1 Final victory over Ballymena United, McDermott admitted he pushes so hard for the Glens to succeed there are times he doesn't like himself but he will continue asking his players to make sacrifices for the cause.

"I am delighted for the players," he stated.

"I am not easy to work with. I know that. I don't like me some days and they don't either and they have had to suffer me for a year, the staff and the players.

"I have my battles with them every day. As I tell them, if you want to achieve anything in life you have to suffer. They did that, they suffered me, they suffered more training, more days in, fewer days off and they paid a price this season and I am proud of every single one of them.

"We will have to sacrifice again moving forward. It is easy to say we want to win the League but you have to put down on paper what you are willing to give up to get it.

"I wake up in the morning sometimes and don't like what I see in the mirror so I can only imagine what they have to deal with but if you want to accomplish something, you can't make it easy.

"I see life too easy for our kids and if you want to accomplish anything, you have to make it hard and I have been hard on everyone all season, from the board, to the staff, to the volunteers, to the players but that's because I want Glentoran to be a success."

McDermott paid genuine respect to opposite number David Jeffrey and his Ballymena side, who were gutted to lose in extra-time when Ciaran O'Connor set up Robbie McDaid for Glentoran's winner.

"I would like to thank David Jeffrey and his players for their sportsmanship after the game," he added.

"David is a class act and his team are a credit to him on and off the pitch.

"I thought Ballymena had us under pressure for long spells with set-pieces and, in the first half, we couldn't clear the ball which invited more pressure on top of us.

"To be fair to Ballymena, that's their game, they had belief about them and a lot of energy in the 90 minutes and they could have won it.

"I was actually happy to get to the 90 minutes because I thought the extra-time could be ours especially with the likes of Ciaran O'Connor on the pitch.

"People don't really know Ciaran's background but he has played in some massive games for Dundalk as a kid and he is a really good player. He will be a big part of our club moving forward. He is young like a lot of the boys.

"We have a young squad, a good squad, and our European squad will be strengthened with Caolan Marron, Seanan Clucas, Andy Mitchell and Cameron Stewart back and our new signings so we are happy with where we are going."

Belfast Telegraph