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The best Barr none

Barry Gray hailed Solitude’s electric atmosphere as the driving force behind yesterday’s late turnaround against Linfield.

Goals from Chris Curran and Jay Donnelly dragged Cliftonville back from 2-0 down before Garry Breen’s injury-time header secured all three points on an afternoon of high drama, with boss Gray afterwards saying: “What just happened out there is Cliftonville in a nutshell for me.

“When I came into this job, days like this and performances like that were what I was dreaming of. It’s what this Club is all about – a team working hard for one another, playing good football and battling until the end with the fans sticking by us. The celebrations were fantastic and I’ve told the players they deserve not to have to listen to me, they’ve every right to enjoy and be proud of what they’ve done.

“Our supporters were fantastic again and, as I’ve said before, if you give our fans something to back and believe in, they’ll give you everything they’ve got in return.

“They were with us from the start and, even at 1-0 and 2-0 down, I think they could see the team were working hard and playing well. We get the first goal back and the volume goes up even more, the equaliser goes in and, to be honest, you’re probably thinking we’ll take 2-2 here but the team kept going and the fans turned the place upside down when the winner went in.

“That’s the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at Solitude as Cliftonville Manager, as a visiting Manager or just when I’ve come to watch a  game from the stands. It’s what this Club should be about but I’ve told the players it’s not just down to the fans to generate that sort of atmosphere, you have to give them something to feed off and it’s fair to say the players did that against Linfield – not just in those last 11 minutes, but from the very start of the game.”