Paddy McLaughlin says that, despite the Europa League Play-Offs coming into sharper focus, he wants Cliftonville to produce a positive display in tomorrow’s final Danske Bank Premiership fixture of the season.
The Reds take on Glenavon at Mourneview Park four days after slumping to a disappointing defeat against Linfield and, while his side are destined to finish fifth in the table, the Manager is nevertheless keen to see an improvement on that midweek setback.
“Our position won’t change but it’s another chance for some boys to get their fitness and sharpness up to speed before the Play-Offs,” he says.
“You always want to play your strongest side but we have four players who are a booking away from missing the Play-Offs, a couple already suspended and two or three carrying knocks that we’ll assess. We need to protect the players and look to the bigger picture.
“Before the Play-Offs come around, though, we want a good performance and result against Glenavon. The game against Linfield was the worst since I came to the Club and, although we had to make a lot of changes to spare people from bans, we should still have played better than we did.
“Players were given their chance to stake a claim and not too many did that. I know we’re better than that but you can’t really have any excuses when you’re beaten 5-1.”