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Letter of the Lau

Paddy McLaughlin says he can’t wait for the action to get underway when Cliftonville face Newry City on Saturday.

Following his appointment as Reds Manager this afternoon, the 39-year-old welcomed his players to training as he bids to oversee not just a positive start at the weekend but also a strong finish to the season.

“I told the Chairman to make sure the players brought their boots because I’m not just here to have my photograph taken,” he explains.

“I’m here to do a job and that starts here and now. That changing room is full of quality players, some of them would walk into any team in Ireland, and we need to prepare well this week, go into the Newry game on Saturday and try to start by getting three points.”

McLaughlin admits that the chance to take over at Cliftonville was not one that he could turn down and adds that he’s looking forward to applying his playing philosophies at Solitude.

“This is a massive Club with passionate fans and I want to give them a team that will entertain them and keep them coming back. Cliftonville has been famous for playing good football and I know that’s the way I like my teams to play,” he adds.

“When you have the opportunity to come somewhere like this, you have to take it. It’s the sort of Club players should be breaking the door down to sign for.”

The new Reds boss was also delighted to welcome Brian Donaghey back to the Club as his Assistant Manager and, along with Goalkeeping Coach Conleth McCrudden, says it’s important for him to surround himself with people who share his outlook.

“As a Manager, you need people around you who you know you can trust and I’ve got that in Brian and Conleth. When I first met the Chairman, I told him I don’t come on my own, the three of us come as a team and we’ll all work together to get that Cliftonville identity out on the pitch, get the players at the top of their game and get this Club back up challenging where it should be.”