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Paddy McLaughlin outlined the importance of Ryan Curran’s goal in Cliftonville’s 3-0 victory over Warrenpoint Town in yesterday’s Danske Bank Premiership tie.

Leading courtesy of Thomas Maguire’s 10th minute finish, the Reds headed into the break having aborsbed significant pressure from the visitors, whose confidence visibly grew as the game progressed.

McLaughlin says he always felt the second goal of the day would be crucial to the outcome and toasted his players for roaring out of the traps after the interval.

“At half-time, we spoke about making sure we went out to get the next goal,” he explains.

“We had got off to a good start but Warrenpoint came into the game in a big way and the second goal was going to be crucial because if they got it, they’d have something to build on whereas us going 2-0 up would have put us in a strong position to go on and get the points.

“We started the second-half really quickly and ended up scoring twice in a couple of minutes to put ourselves in control and that’s down to the players for how they went about their jobs.

“I thought we defended superbly all day long and the boys in midfield emptied the tank for us as usual. We were clinical up front, too, which is something we’d lacked against Glentoran in midweek. We created a lot of chances, scored three goals and could have had a couple more but you’d take a 3-0 win against any team in this League.”

Though Joe Gormley’s eye-catching finish put the seal on a good afternoon’s work, McLaughlin was once again left to bemoan another addition to the injured list following Michael McCrudden’s withdrawal before the 30 minute mark.

“It’s unbelieveable what we’re going through at the minute,” he adds.

“Joe was carrying a wee bit of a niggle so we started him on the bench and I thought McCrudden and Currany had been linking up well at the start of the game. Michael has to go off and we’ve brought Joe on probably earlier than we would have liked, then his own injury flared up again a wee bit towards the end but I’m hopeful both of them should be OK for Dungannon on Tuesday night.”