Paddy McLaughlin had words of praise for his entire team after Cliftonville made it three wins from three Christmas week fixtures courtesy of yesterday’s 2-1 victory over Larne.
Ten of the 11 players who started the game at Inver Park had also been in the line-up that overcame Crusaders 48 hours earlier and, while paying tribute the collective effort, McLaughlin made sure to acknowledge the contribution of individuals at both ends of the pitch – starting with goalkeeper Richard Brush, who made a host of vital stops.
“I’ve said before and I’ll say again, I think he’s the best keeper in the division,” said the boss.
“That’s not a criticism of any other keeper, there are other top keepers in the division, but in my eyes Richard Brush is number one.
“He’s proved it again in this match and was superb for us. This week alone, he’s been pushing to win Man of the Match in the last three matches.
“We’re delighted to have him and long may it continue.”
McLaughlin was just as effusive in his appraisal of Conor McMenamin, who registered his fourth goal in three games with an emphatic finish after being teed up by opening scorer Joe Gormley.
“Conor Mac has that bit of quality and that bit of magic that not everyone does,” he added.
“He’s a match winner and the ability to win us games in tight situations. He deserves all the pats on the back and all the plaudits he’s getting, because he has been top drawer.”
On the outcome at the end of a hugely positive week, the Manager concluded: “I’m delighted with the result overall.
“Larne is a tough place to come, they’re a very good footballing side.
“We dug in when we had to and we looked lively and we looked dangerous when we got forward.”