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Top the build

Barry Gray believes Cliftonville have an opportunity to take another step forward if they can pocket full points from tomorrow’s Danske Bank Premiership fixture with Ards.

The Reds travel to The Bangor Fuels Arena on the back of two dedicated performances that yielded home victories over Dungannon Swifts and Glenavon but, determined to see his team push on, the Manager knows that those wins will only carry any significant worth if they’re built upon in the coming weeks.

“It’s about putting a run together,” explains Gray.

“We’ve been in a similar position to this on a couple of occasions this season but haven’t been able to press forward and really make things count.

“The performance against Dungannon a couple of weeks ago was very good and, in the end, if we had a disappointment it was that we only scored five goals on the day. Last week against Glenavon was a much different challenge and a much different sort of performance to get the points.

“The players had to really dig in and fight for absolutely everything right across the park. They did that superbly well and, looking at the 4-2 scoreline, people might think it was a comfortable win but it was far from that. The players had big jobs to do to go and get a scoreline like that and, again, they did them well and deserve the credit for that.

“Ards is a different challenge again in a couple of respects. We can expect a different kind of game but, from our point of view, the question we’re asking is can we build on what we’ve done in the last couple of weeks – can we turn two wins into three and lay a bit of a platform to try and add to that?

“It’s going to be another day for putting the hard yards in because you can be sure that’s what Ards are going to do. They’re just as hungry for the points because of the position they’re in but we’re going down there knowing how big a win could be for us. We need to put a winning run together and make sure that the two wins we’ve got in the last two weeks aren’t just left sitting on their own.”

Charity Collection
Supporters are reminded of the Football Shirt Collection that Ards will be hosting ahead of today’s game, with requests made for the donation of any old jerseys (Cliftonville or otherwise) that you no longer use.