Joe Gormley says a united front on and off the pitch can help Cliftonville leave a disappointing end to 2018 behind as they bid to start the New Year with a positive result at Coleraine tomorrow.
The Reds travel to The Showgrounds determined to bounce back from a gloomy week that yielded three defeats from as many outings, with Gormley – who penned a new long-term deal with the Club on Christmas Eve – eager to see everyone pulling in the same direction.
“We know we’re good enough and we know we can perform,” he says.
“The last few games haven’t been anywhere near good enough for a Cliftonville team and I know our supporters are unhappy with what they’ve been seeing. Football is the worst in the world when it’s not going your way but, as players, we have to take the rough with the smooth. That criticism is down to us not playing well enough.
“The blame is shared around everyone and I know the Manager has taken some stick but, at the end of the day, he’s not going out on the field.
“Barry has been brilliant with us and he has such a great mentality. His passion for Cliftonville is amazing. As players, we need to take a leaf out of his book, go out and perform and give him, the staff and our supporters something to smile about – and hopefully that will be the case come 5 o’clock tomorrow.”
As well as the clash with the Bannsiders, Gormley is looking forward to realising his ambitions with Cliftonville throughout 2019 and beyond after signing a contract extension until 2023 – and he admits he’s already keen to earn a new deal thereafter.
“I’m really, really pleased to have got everything sorted because anyone who knows me will tell you that Cliftonville is where I want to be,” adds the 29-year-old.
“The only way I’ll not be here is if the Club get rid of me, so I really appreciated that Barry wanted me to sign up again.
“He has been great to work with and I know he bends over backwards for everybody in our squad. He would do anything for any of us and that’s what I mean about it being important that we go out and do our jobs on the pitch because there’s only so much a Manager can do.
“As a striker, you’re judged on scoring goals and I’d like to think I’ve deserved the new contract because I’ve scored a decent amount since I came back home but I want to keep on going, keep on scoring and help this Club win as much as I can over the next few years so that I can earn another new deal at the end of the current one.
“We had great times at Cliftonville in the past but it took time to build up to it and it feels like we’re going through something similar at the minute but I honestly believe that if we all stick together – that’s players, fans, coaches, board, Manager and everyone involved – then we can get back to that level again.”
Cliftonville fans are advised that access to The Showgrounds will be via the Hillmans Way entrance and that the away end cannot be accessed at Ballycastle Road.
Supporters’ Club buses will be facilitated with parking within the ground, while those travelling by car are requested to park on the Ballycastle side of The Showgrounds or avail of the Vineyard Church Carpark at the end of Hillmans Way.