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Gray’s going strong

Barry Gray says being respectful of Glenavon’s strengths will not prohibit Cliftonville from trying to take all three points when the sides lock horns on Danske Bank Premiership duty at Mourneview Park tomorrow.

The Reds travel to Lurgan having slipped down to fifth in the table as a consequence of Linfield’s midweek victory over Carrick Rangers and, as he plots his side’s course back up the standings, Gray is well aware of the threat this weekend’s opponents will pose.

“We play Glenavon twice in the next couple of weeks and the games are big opportunities for both teams,” he explains.

“From our point of view, we want to close the gap on them and hopefully even overtake them if we can win the matches, whereas obviously they’ll be looking to put a bit more daylight between them and us.

“It’s going to be a really big test for us and, as we found out down at Mourneview earlier in the season, you can’t allow Glenavon room to play or they’ll punish you. We were very poor down there the last time and, let’s be honest about it, we were bullied so we’ll be looking to do much better.

“Glenavon are a good team with a lot of quality players but, rather than focusing on the strengths of any opponent, I think it’s important to look at our own strengths and work on what we can do to use them to our advantage.

“We showed a lot of courage in very difficult circumstances against Warrenpoint last week, but coming through a game like that on the winning side gives everyone a real lift and we’ll be looking to take that with us when we go to Mourneview.”

Sean Graham’s Weekend Preview