Barry Gray wants Cliftonville to apply a consistency that can deliver a strong final few months of the season – starting at Warrenpoint tonight.
The Reds travel to The Q Radio Arena for a rearranged Danske Bank Premiership tie that provides an opportunity to both draw level with Linfield – who visit Solitude at the weekend – and increase the gap on sixth-placed Ballymena United to 14 points.
Though he’s on the verge of banning the word ‘reaction’ from any pre-match discussion entirely, Gray nevertheless wants to see his side not only deliver the performance levels he knows they’re capable of, but continue to produce them from one game to the next as they bid to cut out the up-and-down nature of recent displays.
“We need to show a hunger to drive on to the highest place we can finish in the League – that’s the question that needs asked of us now,” he says.
“We could have had a Cup Final on the horizon this week but losing to Ballymena means that’s gone now. If you’re hungry, individually or as a team playing for Cliftonville you have to want to win trophies, no matter what trophy it is.
“The week ahead is still a massive one in terms of Premiership fixtures and people keep talking about reactions and responses, but how many times are we going to say that? Let’s just be a team that doesn’t need to react to things every few weeks.
“Warrenpoint will be another serious battle and we’ve played them enough times this season to know that it’s going to be very tough, but we need to go there with an attitude that we’re determined to show what we can do for the rest of this season.
“Only time will tell if we can brush ourselves off and make Saturday a scenario we learn from or whether it will be just one more week like it has been for so many weeks of the season.”