Saturday 1 January 2020, Kick Off 3.00pm
We begin 2020 with a visit to County Tyrone, hoping to extend our unbeaten league run to thirteen with a winning performance against Dungannon Swifts.
We are currently 26 points and six places ahead of tenth placed Dungannon, and just over a month ago had our heaviest win of the season with a 6-1 home won over Swifts, including a Robbie McDaid hat trick, two from Paul O’Neill and a typical Hrvoje Plum special from a free kick.
Swifts are going through what’s possibly their worst run of results in the club’s seventeen-year unbroken spell in the Danske Bank Premiership. They’ve won just one of their last thirteen league games and in the past week have lost 5-0 to both Crusaders and Glenavon. In response, manager Kris Lindsay has parted company with his Assistant Manager Chris Wright and First Team Coach Peter Kennedy. However we can’t forget that our last visit to Stangmore Park ended in a 3-1 defeat that was without doubt our worst performance of the season, or that we also put in our worst performance of last season last year’s New Year’s Day when Swifts won 4-2 at the Oval.
Mick McDermott: "On Saturday against Ballymena I wasn’t happy with the first half performance and I let the players know that at half time. We didn’t really get going, maybe in the aftermath of Boxing Day. But I was confident that our squad size and fitness would really help us take control from the hour mark. In the last three matches we had a great performance and win over Linfield, but we also managed to grind out good wins over Carrick – who are on a great run – and a very robust, hard working Ballymena. Being able to grind out results when you’re not at your best, like we were on Saturday, also helps to build self-belief and confidence in the players. So that’s another big step forward for all of us.
We look forward to 2020 starting with our trip to Dungannon. We know that every game from now forward will be a test of our quality, resilience and commitment to this project. We know we must remain humble and prepare for each opponent with the best of our ability.
We go to Dungannon without Cameron (hamstring) and Paul (suspension) but all others are healthy and ready for the challenge.
We will approach our matches in the New Year with our same “one-in-a-row” thinking - the game in front is the only one to think about, and that starts with Dungannon. That approach has served us well so far and it’s the right one for us to adopt at all times, as all our matches are equally important, and all our opponents demand the same level of respect.
Our players, fans and the Glentoran “community” have been outstanding in 2019 and we have built a strong platform to build into 2020 and beyond. I wish the entire Glentoran community a Happy and Healthy 2020! Together we will continue our Climb! ......to the Future!"