Saturday 12th May 2018,
Kick Off 3pm.
Tomorrow we head to North Belfast for our most important match for two years. A win over Cliftonville and we will be back in the Europa League for the first time in three years and heading into the club’s 44th European campaign. We do so on the back of an out standing fightback away to Linfield on Wednesday night leading to a 4-3 win that was our most impressive performance in a long time. Hopefully that was the confidence boos the boys need.
We also go into Saturday having won our most recent match against the Reds in Ronnie McFall’s first match back at the club in February. That day a Curtis Allen header on the hour secured a 1-0 home win.
Ronnie McFall said this evening, prior to leading us into the big match: “Wednesday night’s win over Linfield was exactly what the club and supporters needed and I’m glad we managed to give it to them. A lot in the media read far too much into our last couple of league matches but this was like the run up to a cup final with a few key players being protected from knocks they’d picked up. That was proved right with the way the likes of John McGuigan and Robbie McDaid came back in and put in such great performances for us. The players really stood up to Linfield and got what they deserved from the match. They know they need to at least match that level of performance tomorrow. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t. We go into the match as massive underdogs but that’s no different from Wednesday night.
On the player front, Calum Birney and John McGuigan are carrying knocks from the Linfield game but I’ll be giving them every chance to make it. Everyone else is okay and raring to go.
I’m not surprised our ticket allocation sold out so quickly. Despite all the traffic and parking issues the support the team got on Wednesday night was fantastic and I’ve no doubt it played a big part in driving the players on in the second half. These sort of big crunch matches are the sort Glentoran supporters have grown up with over the decades and the sort they’re entitled to expect to be involved in. The players and I know how important European qualification and everything that goes with it is for the club so be sure we’ll go to Solitude with total determination to deliver. Everyone at Glentoran deserves that.”
Glentoran qualified for Europe in each of Ronnie McFall’s last four seasons in his previous spell as manager, playing the likes of Paris St Germain, Standard Liege and CSKA Sofia. More of the same tomorrow will send us all into the summer as very happy Glenmen and women. Le Jeu Avant Tout.