Paddy McLaughlin’s only disappointment with last night’s Europa League Preliminary Round first leg was that Cliftonville didn’t get the goal their play deserved.
The Reds produced a confident performance in a 0-0 draw against Barry Town United at Leckwith Stadium, where Chris Curran, Conor McMenamin and Rory Donnelly all went close on a night of near misses for the visitors.
McLaughlin was pleased with his side’s display but admitted to some slight frustration at not having registered at least one potentially crucial away goal.
“I think we did very well and played some good football, especially in the first-half,” he said.
“The pitch dried out a bit in the second-half which slowed the tempo of the game and our passing down, but we kept playing away and created three or four good opportunities to score.
“It’s disappointing we weren’t able to take any of them but, at the end of the day, it’s a clean sheet and a draw away from home and I think it says a lot that we’re disappointed with a clean sheet and a draw away from home in Europe.”
The Manager is hopeful that Cliftonville’s good record on home soil can play a role in helping his team secure victory when the sides renew rivalries next Thursday evening, but acknowledged that last night’s result was also good for Barry, whom he expects to a pose a threat in Belfast.
“We take the tie back to Solitude next week and the backing of the support we have at home definitely adds 10 or 20 per cent to our players so, yes, we’re disappointed the first leg has finished 0-0 but we’re quietly happy that we’re still in a good position – but so are Barry,” he added.
“If you’re going to draw at home, you’re better off drawing 0-0. We haven’t got an away goal which means next week we’ll have to be a bit cautious to keep that in mind but if we can produce the same kind of performance in the second leg as we did in the first, I believe we can score the goals we need.”