Richard Brush admits that Cliftonville’s bid to atone for their midweek horror show will be made more challenging by the absence of supporters from tomorrow’s Danske Bank Premiership clash with Portadown but insists that he and his team-mates have a duty to do the Red Army proud.
Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the Stormont Executive means that no fans will be in attendance at Solitude and Brush says the Reds must do everything they can to get back on track after their 4-0 mauling by Ballymena United extended their losing streak to three games.
“I thought the second-half in Dungannon, our performance might have saw us nick something,” says the 36-year-old.
“On Saturday, Larne had lots of possession of the ball but as a unit we looked solid. It was tough to lose in the final minutes but Tuesday was an opportunity to put it to bed. We didn’t play well in any shape or form.
“If you want to put a positive spin on it, the only way is up.”
Tomorrow’s encounter marks a return to behind closed doors action for Cliftonville, who helped welcome football back to the domestic scene in July’s Irish Cup semi-final with Glentoran at an empty Windsor Park, but Brush says the Reds cannot allow the unusual circumstances to distract them from their task.
“We’ve got to do something and respond with a positive reaction,” he adds.
“It’s been a strange preparation to the season, we came back for the semi-final of the Irish Cup and then we were out for a while and we didn’t know what was going on.
“It was a strange one and there have been matches called off in the last couple of weeks. It wasn’t hard to prepare but there is a certainly a bit of unknown. It’s like that for every Club and we can’t be making excuses for our performances in the last few games.”
You can read the full Brush interview in tomorrow’s digital edition of our Matchday Magazine, which will be available here on cliftonvillefc.net ahead of kick-off.
Featuring pre-match views from the Manager’s Office, The Red Eye’s eighth issue of the campaign carries all the stats behind the Reds’ history with Portadown and a look at the visitors’ Premiership return – plus plenty more besides.
Tickets: None available
Live stream: Available here (£7)