Saturday 11th January 2020, Kick Off 3.00 pm
On Saturday we attempt to extend our unbeaten run with a visit to the Oval from Warrenpoint Town.
Point are currently bottom of the table but only on goal difference from Institute, and just five points behind Dungannon Swifts after a good run of recent form. So, they have plenty to play for over the final third of the season.
We have won both our previous meetings this season. In November we left Milltown with a 4-0 win through goals from Gavin Peers, Hrvoje Plum (2) and Robbie McDaid, while in September we had a 2-1 through a late Paddy McClean header after Alan O’Sullivan had equalised an opener from Hrvoje Plum (again!).
Warrenpoint Secretary Jack Gilsenan told www.glentoran.com: “With a busy start to January, we have managed to secure the signatures of four experienced players. They are Colm Deasy, Ryan Swan, Stuart Hutchinson and Kealan Dillon. We have added experience throughout the team, and this will only help our very young group of players.
With a poor start to the season, a new manager coming in, Barry has given us a fighting chance, with it being incredible to get to 13 points by the turn of the year. We went to the Brandywell on Boxing Day, knowing that we could only afford to leave there with 3 points. This has followed with a point away to Glenavon and a tiring display and defeat against Crusaders on New Year’s Day. A return to the Irish Cup, saw us give a debut to hardworking midfielder, Kealan Dillon, who got an assist on one of his first touches in the Sky-Blue jersey. We progress to next round of the cup with a 3-1 home win.
It was fantastic to see Alan (O’Sullivan) get back on the score sheet again, with a hat trick and this will hopefully give him confidence going into the game at the Oval.
Good luck for the rest of the season to all at Glentoran.”
Mick McDermott: “Our Irish Cup-tie with Portadown last week wasn’t good for the heart. The Ports are a good team with a good manager, playing well and sitting at the top of the Championship. So, we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy one. We controlled the play and possession pretty well but simply weren’t creating chances. When that happens there’s always the danger, you’ll conceded a soft one against the run of play and that’s exactly what happened. Twice. But Jonny Frazer made a big difference and we know he can do that. He is very strong’ direct and lively and he’s always capable of making things happen. That’s why we extended his contract and why we all love him here. It was a great day and a great cup tie with two great sets of supporters really getting behind their teams. That’s what football is all about. We’re all looking forward to playing Queen’s in the next round.
I was pleased to give Ciaran O’Connor his debut as a sub. He’s not totally match fit but he did very well, especially for Jonny’s equaliser in extra time. He’s not fully match fit yet, but that won’t take long, He’s exactly the sort of player we like here. He’s a good footballer but also physically strong. The way last week’s match progressed didn’t allow us to give Keith Cowan his debut, but that will come shortly.
Warrenpoint have been rejuvenated recently, with a few new players in and they’ve got some very good results from it. As with all our games and all our opponents, we’ve prepared thoroughly and well for Saturday’s match. So, we’re ready for them and we’ll be up for this one.
On the player front we have a good squad to pick from though we’ll rearrange a bit upfront as Darren Murray is unavailable for first team selection while our internal investigations proceed, and Paul has one more game left of his suspension. On the injury front Cameron will still be out for a while but the good news is that Curtis will be in full training with the rest of the squad from Monday, so we’re really looking forward to getting him back.
James McCarthy has gone on loan to Dundela to get some valuable first team experience. I know he’ll do well and look forward to seeing him back in the summer, ready to really compete for a starting place. Salou Jallow has gone to Ards to also get some first team experience over the rest of the season. The transfer window still has three weeks to run so anything can happen and plenty of business can be done in that time. Paul and I are working hard on this to see if there are areas we can strengthen further.
Finally, well done to Cricky Gallagher on being runner up as the NIFWA Player of the Month for December. He’s had another great month and while Conor McMenamin at Cliftonville was a worthy winner, I’m sure no one would have complained if Cricky had won it.”
The Board of Directors at Glentoran Football Club would again request that all supporters travelling to the Oval by private car consider the local residents when deciding where and how to park. Local parking is freely available at the Arches Health Centre.