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Patient pending

Paddy McLaughlin praised both Cliftonville’s patience and ruthlessness in yesterday’s Danske Bank Premiership victory over Carrick Rangers.

Chances were at a premium throughout a first-half ruined by high winds but, after overcoming a frustrating start to the second period, the Reds made the most of the opportunities that came their way with Thomas Maguire breaking the deadlock on the hour ahead of Conor McMenamin and Joe Gormley adding their names to the scoresheet.

“We were trying to get ourselves on top as much as we could but when any game is 0-0, you always have that doubt in your head that something could go against you,” he admitted.

“Our defence did very well, though, and limited Carrick to very little. The problem was the same thing was happening to us at the other end but, to the fair to our front players, they had to be patient and when the chances came, they were ruthless enough to take them.

“The second and third goals provided a bit of security but you have to give the boys at the back a bit of credit because I don’t remember Richard Brush having too much to do.”

McLaughlin was also pleased that, while having to contend with a number of injury concerns, his team stuck to their game plan in testing conditions.

“Injuries are part and parcel of football and you expect them to take a toll maybe 10 or so games into the season, but we had only played two and were already getting a bit worried about a few boys being out,” he added.

“Garry Breen and Levi Ives haven’t recovered from being forced to go off against Crusaders last week, then we had both Chris and Ryan Curran not fit enough to start the game, so it has been a case of managing things as best we can.

“To be able to bring players like that off the bench is a great option for any Manager to have but, to be fair to the players who were already on the pitch, the key to that win was patience. They kept believing in what they were doing and had faith that it would pay off and so it proved.”