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Trouble standards

Paddy McLaughlin branded aspects of Cliftonville’s performance in last night’s League Cup clash with Bangor as “unacceptable”.

Despite booking a Quarter-Final berth courtesy of a 3-2 win that saw Ruaidhri Donnelly open the scoring ahead of a Joe Gormley double, the Reds laboured at times and twice saw their lead halved thanks to defensive lapses from which the visitors profited.

After the game, the Manager reflected: “The aim in Cup football is always to make it through to the next round and we’ve achieved that but there are ways of doing things and that’s not the way we should be getting things done.

“We set standards for ourselves that have to be maintained in every game, no matter the opposition, but we fell below that during the second-half.

“I know winning is the most important thing at the end of the day but our supporters don’t want to see us playing like that – they weren’t entertained, they didn’t enjoy it and at times the way we played was unacceptable.

“We had a few choice words in the changing room afterwards, where we just reminded players that they’re playing for Cliftonville and when you play for Cliftonville, there are standards you have to meet every single time you go out onto the pitch.

“Bangor did well and pushed us hard. We’ve won the game and we’re in the next round, so that’s the plus we’re taking from the night but it’s not a game or performance we’ll be looking back on too fondly.”