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Playing it smart

Martin Donnelly believes that Cliftonville are starting to hit their stride after beginning the season with a stutter that he attributes to the overhaul of the squad and coaching team this summer.

Tomorrow’s opponents Coleraine have, by contrast, benefited from greater continuity and, ahead of the sides locking horns on Danske Bank Premiership duty at Solitude, Donnelly believes the Reds are showing signs of reaching the levels they expect of themselves.

“Coleraine have done really well this year, obviously they have a settled side,” says the 29-year-old.

“They’ve had a bit of momentum going from early on and that’s continued for them.

“At the start with us, we had the opposite. We had a good win in the opening game against Ards and then after that it went downhill. You can see now we are progressing back up the table and hopefully we can kick on and start challenging.”

You can read the full Donnelly interview in this weekend’s edition of our Matchday Magazine, which will be on sale at Solitude for £2.50.

Alongside boss Barry Gray’s pre-game views, The Red Eye’s ninth issue of the campaign reviews the Bannsiders’ season to date, delivers the latest addition to your player poster collections and recalls the occasion when Solitude was the final stop-off point for a team en route to war – plus plenty more besides.

Our Matchday Magazine has attained a top-three position in the NI Football Programme Collectors’ annual awards poll for the last six seasons so, if you’re not a regular reader, why not take a look at what you’ve been missing out on?

Adult: £11
Concessions: £7

Cliftonville Members Tickets, Season Tickets and Family Tickets are valid for this fixture.

Sean Graham’s Weekend Preview