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Setting a high Barr

Barry Gray has paid credit to his players’ commitment as Cliftonville prepare for a fifth fixture in 14 days.

The Reds host Ards in their final pre-split Danske Bank Premiership outing of the season and, though they enter the contest on the back of Tuesday’s harsh defeat to Ballymena United, Gray says he has been pleased with what he’s seen from his men recently and has called for a similarly dedicated performance this evening.

“Our form of late has been good and I’d be hopeful we can get back on the winning track against Ards tonight,” he explains.

“It’s been a heavy spell for us with five games in 14 days, plus a raft of training sessions, and the commitment levels from the players have been brilliant.

“I have to go on record and say that because they’ve been very professional throughout what’s been a testing schedule. They’ve delivered huge performances and huge results, let’s not forget that or let the Ballymena result overshadow it.”

You can read all of the Manager’s pre-match views in this evening’s edition of our Matchday Magazine, which will be on sale at Solitude for £2.50.

In addition to our traditional steps back down memory lane, The Red Eye’s 24th issue of the season takes a timely look back on the night Cliftonville hosted South Korea (who make their first return journey to this part of the world when they face Northern Ireland tomorrow), reflects on Ards’ ambitions for the rest of the campaign and delivers your latest player poster – 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?