Cliftonville’s 2-0 victory over Glenavon in yesterday’s Danske Bank Premiership clash with Glenavon provided further evidence of the positives Paddy McLaughlin has been pointing out since arriving at the Club.
The Reds carved out a host of opportunities during a well-drilled display that was rewarded with strikes from Conor McMenamin and Ryan Curran as well as a third clean sheet in McLaughlin’s four games at the helm.
“We’re trying to play the game a certain way and it’ll always take time for new ideas and new approaches to be put across properly,” explains the boss.
“Against Warrenpoint last Saturday, we showed in patches that we’re a quality side in the way we played on a difficult pitch. We lost to Ballymena in midweek but you could see what we were trying to do – we battled well against a very good team that’s right in the mix for the title.
“It’s all about getting some momentum and we’re going about that in a good way.”
Pleased as he has been with his players’ neat and tidy football, McLaughlin also knows that certain occasions will merit a different style and was pleased with how Cliftonville married those approaches in Lurgan.
“There are times to play football and there are times when it isn’t on,” he adds.
“The players have taken that on board and we’re making real progress in every training session and every match.”
The Manager was also quick to hail the contribution of striker Joe Gormley who, having gone close to finding the net himself more than once, didn’t let any personal frustration distract him from teeing Curran up for the Reds’ security goal.
“That was Joe’s best performance since I’ve come to the club,” concludes McLaughlin.
“Joe’s standards are that high that it’s crisis when he doesn’t score but his all-round performance was top drawer – the only thing missing was a goal and, only for a couple of world class saves from Jonny Tuffey, he would have achieved that.
“Joe made the right decision by squaring to Curran, it just proves what a team player he is. He could have taken it on himself, but he knew Ryan was in a better position. It was a goal that guaranteed the points.”