Paddy McLaughlin savoured Cliftonville’s third home victory of the season and saluted his players and the team’s supporters for working in unison to maintain the Reds’ 100% start following yesterday’s victory over Glentoran.
Ryan Curran’s 70th minute strike was enough to earn three points to add to the six plundered from wins against Carrick Rangers and Coleraine over the course of the week and, having grown accustomed to watching his side play against a backdrop of virtual silence in empty grounds for most of the year so far, McLaughlin has been delighted with the noise levels generated by the Red Army since their return to Solitude.
“I’ve got to mention the fans,” he said as he started his post-match surmisal.
“Throughout the game, I thought they were brilliant. They made a racket from minute one to 95 and they played a huge part, especially late in the game when boys were starting to tire. We’ve got to make this place a fortress, we’ve got to make teams hate coming here and dreading coming here and the way we’ve started the season is a good way to go about that.
“Three wins from three so far and all of them have been at home. If we can make Solitude a fortress this year, it’ll be a great thing to build on.”
The Manager also acknowledged a lot of the unseen work that his players did off the ball against a Glens side that enjoyed a lot of the ball, especially in the first-half.
“When you’re playing against good sides like Glentoran, who are going to have spells of possession, you’ve got to be disciplined in what you’re doing out of possession,” he added.
“If you go gung-ho, they’ll knock it round you and cut you open for fun.
“I think we did that early in the game. The first five or 10 minutes, they had a couple if half-chances. There were a couple of great balls flashed across the six-yard line but I think once we got to grips with it, our discipline and our shape out of possession was fantastic and we almost nullified them down to long balls which you don’t mind because you expect your back four to defend that and they did that throughout.
“As much as we played good football in the second-half, the shape of the team was great throughout.”