After the heartbreaking defeat at Windsor Park on Boxing Day, Glentoran need to get the result out of their system fast, with the festive games coming up thick and fast. On Saturday, Donegal Celtic are the visitors to The Oval looking for just their third win of the season. Glentoran slipped to 5th after the Boxing Day defeat, with Linfield and Coleraine overtaking us.
Stephen McAlorum misses out through suspension after his early red card against Linfield but Jason Hill and Mark Clarke return. Colin Nixon remains out after his nose surgery on Christmas Eve so this offers another opportunity for Calum Birney in the squad. Wednesday's defeat will have taken a toll on a number of players, playing the majority of the game with just 10 men will undoubtedly lead to a number of tired players in the squad. All 10 players left on the pitch performed admirably but there are sure to have been tired legs in the aftermath. Stephen Carson signalled to come off during the match so may not feature and it remains to be seen if Eddie Patterson will make any further changes. Young full-back Stephen McCullough made his first team debut on Boxing Day so may feature part of Saturday's squad.
Our visitors Donegal Celtic have had a difficult season on and off the pitch. Sitting 11th in the table, 6 points adrift of safety, there needs to be massive improvement in 2013. Pat McAllister has returned to manage DC and seen a slight improvement with the side finally posting two wins. A level of consistency however is what McAllister will be craving in the second half of the season. DC's main threat is Mark Miskimmon up front who leads the goalscoring charts. Former Glentoran players Kevin Keegan and Peter McCann are also expected to be in the squad.
Celtic travelled to The Oval on the opening day this season, losing 3-1 however upset the odds with a shock 2-1 win at Suffolk Road in November. This provides Eddie Patterson's side with enough of a warning for the threat DC can offer. In August last season, they defeated us at The Oval as well proving there are no easy games in the Danske Bank Premiership. Hopefully Glentoran can bounce back from Boxing Day agony and get back moving forward with three points on Saturday.