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Squad gold

Paddy McLaughlin believes Cliftonville’s victory over Glenavon at Solitude last night was testament to the strength of the squad he is building at Solitude.

Despite making a number of changes to the side and still being without the services of some key players through a combination of injury and suspension, the Reds produced a scintillating first-half display that saw Joe Gormley bag a brace before Ryan Curran’s powerful finish put the hosts in a commanding position.

“It was a great performance and I think, with Tommy Breslin’s family here, the players knew they had no choice but to play and entertain like that,” says McLaughlin.

“Hopefully we have put a few smiles back on some faces after a very tough week for everyone at the Club.

“We started well, got the early goal and just kept building from there. We looked very dangerous going forward and had a good number of other chances to score, so there’s plenty to be pleased with – especially when you consider we’ve still some players who have yet to even kick a ball for us since the League started back.

“Conor McMenamin was out and Chris Curran’s still struggling with a slight problem, plus we had Garry Breen and Jamie Harney suspended so we’ve not had a full squad to pick from in either of our two games so far, but we’re sitting here with four points from two difficult matches.

“I know supporters always want to see big signings and a lot of new faces coming in over the summer but, for me, it was just a case of adding to the quality already in the squad and maybe tweaking one or two things here or there.

“We’ve done well so far and the competition for places that we have will hopefully help us keep to good standards.”