First Team Coach Stephen Small says yesterday’s 5-0 defeat of Ballyclare Comrades was the perfect way to get Cliftonville’s pre-season up and running.
Following a narrow defeat in last month’s opener against Dundalk, the Reds swept their Championship visitors aside with a dominant second-half display that saw Jay Donnelly, Jude Winchester (2), Joe Gormley and Ross Lavery find the net.
Small was encouraged by what he saw but acknowledged that there is still a long way to go in preparing for the new Danske Bank Premiership campaign.
“The things you want to get out of pre-season games are minutes under the belt, fitness and you want to express yourself and come out with a little bit of confidence,” he explained.
“We got our fitness levels up because of the heat, everybody got numbers and minutes on the park and we ended up getting ourselves goals as well. We got what we needed out of it and it’s a good starting point. Everybody contributed.
“We have a lot of work to do, we’re just at the starting point and this by no means gives us any indication other than the fact that we worked hard and scored good goals in the second-half. We’re on our way in pre-season, but we know it’s only the starting point”.