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Plus points

Paddy McLaughlin saluted Cliftonville’s efforts at both ends of the park in yesterday’s Danske Bank Premiership victory over Warrenpoint Town.

The win, which came courtesy of two second-half strikes from Ryan Curran, was also notable for seeing the Reds collect their first away clean sheet of the season – a fact the boss was quick to credit his players for.

“There maybe haven’t been too many clean sheets this year and the players have taken some criticism for that but we were very solid and, on the back of a clean sheet against Newry in our last game, will give the boys a lot of confidence,” said McLaughlin.

“It’s been a good start since we came in. The boys showed in glimpses on a difficult pitch that we are a quality side. Warrenpoint are well drilled so it was pleasing to break them down with quality goals and to keep a clean sheet.”

McLaughlin also revealed that it was Rory Donnelly’s ill health that provided Curran with his opportunity to shine.

“Ryan got the nod because Rory had the flu and wasn’t 100%. Ryan has been top class in training and deserved to come in and do a job for us. He justified his selection by scoring two fantastic goals.

“He’s maybe been a bit annoyed at not starting as many matches as he would have wanted but I’m delighted for him to have got two goals. I already knew he was a good player but this was a big chance for him to come in and show what he can do and he did it very well.”