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High fliers

Paddy McLaughlin says Cliftonville are striving to finish as high up the Danske Bank Premiership table as possible and hopes his players can draw inspiration from their Christmas and New Year form as they approach tomorrow’s clash with Glentoran at The Oval.

The Reds successfully negotiated a string of testing back-to-back fixtures over the festive period and, at the conclusion of a week that has already delivered trips to Dungannon Swifts and Crusaders, McLaughlin expects another testing encounter in east Belfast.

“We have been through this spell at Christmas time when we had to play away games against top sides in the division,” he recalls.

“Saturday will be another tough one because Glentoran are one of the form teams. They will be fresh because they didn’t play in midweek, whereas I have four or five boys who will be struggling after two tough games.

“We will try and recover but it will be tough. It’s a game we feel we can win, but we will do a body count and see who we have available.

“The fixture list has given us a seriously tough week but this is another game we’ll look forward to going out and giving the best performance we can in. We will keep fighting until it is impossible to win the title and we want to finish as high as we can as there are European spots up for grabs.”

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