Saturday 13 April 2019. Kick off 3.00pm
On Saturday we continue our chase for a Europa League play off place with a visit to the seaside to play bottom placed Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena in what is our fourth successive away match.
Ards had pulled themselves off the bottom recently after Warren Feeney’s appointment as manager with a win over Newry City and a 1-1 draw with ourselves at the Oval last month, when it took a Darren Murray goal to level up Michael McLellan’s first half opener. But two defeats and a draw (against Crusaders) have subsequently left them a point adrift of Newry with only a relegation place to play for. However, there’s no basis for the Glens taking anything for granted on Saturday. Our consecutive post-split home defeats to relegated Ballinamallard and Carrick last season should have taught us that.
Prior to our recent home draw, we had two comfortable wins against Ards so far this season. On the second Saturday of the season we had a straightforward 2-0 away win through goals from John McGuigan and Curtis Allen, while in October at the Oval we had an even more comfortable 4-0 win at the Oval with Allen (twice), Marcus Kane and Robbie McDaid all on the scoresheet.
Mick McDermott said after training on Thursday night: “I was generally pretty pleased with the overall performance at Dungannon last week. It was a generally strong team performance, but I was also pleased with several individual performances on the day. I thought our players were very professional given the turmoil surrounding the club in the days leading up to the game and they showed some character coming back so strongly after going behind early on. In fact, we could have had 3 or 4 if we’d taken our chances after scoring our opener. We went to Dungannon expecting to win and that’s how we need to approach every game for the rest of the season. We’ve five big hurdles to clear to be sure of seventh place and the play offs. We cleared the first one last week and I expect top see us build on that.
Since the lads did well at Dungannon I don’t anticipate that we’ll make many changes for Saturday, although we have Robbie McDaid, Gavin Peers and Jamie Glover all available as strong options, so we have the ability to adapt to whatever circumstances exist on the day. Ards may be bottom of the league but they’ll be fighting for their lives in this division, so we won’t go there taking anything for granted.
Paul and I were delighted with the reception we received from the big Glentoran support at Dungannon and it was maintained throughout the game. Thanks for that. The mood around the club is good and we’ll make sure to build on that.”
Note: If Steven Gordon plays on Saturday it will be his 150th first team game for the club, having made his debut just over six years ago, in a 5-0 home win over Donegal Celtic.