Paddy McLaughlin has called on Cliftonville to maintain their level of performance against the Danske Bank Premiership’s top sides when they go toe-to-toe with Larne at Inver Park tonight.
The Reds boss has been hugely encouraged by how his players have gone about their business against the division’s heavyweights this term and insists more of the same will be required in this latest away day mission.
“Whether it’s against Linfield, Coleraine or anyone else, we’ve definitely showed we’re as good as them – none of them looked any better than ourselves,” he said.
“I’m not saying we’re title contenders or anything like that, but we’ve matched the teams everyone was talking about before the season started.
“Larne are full of talent, they’ve a serious squad of players and, if we’re to take anything out of the game, we’ll have to match the levels we were at when we beat them earlier in the season.”
Key to Cliftonville’s chances as a busy fixture schedule prepares to crank into an even higher gear is, says McLaughlin, keeping as many of his players as possible fit for the challenges in store.
“We’ve had a bad run of injuries, especially in midfield,” he added, “but it was good to see some light at the end of the tunnel on Saturday.
“We’d big Jamie Harney back on the bench and Paul O’Neill getting more minutes back on the pitch. Everybody’s going to be important to us not just this week, but in the months ahead – and it doesn’t get any easier after Larne. We’ve Ballymena to face on Saturday and then two cup semi-finals coming up, so it’s going to be all hands to the pump.”
Supporters are advised that tickets for the match remain available to buy online, while anyone unable to be part of the Red Army at Inver can follow the action live via the BBC Sport NI website or BBC iPlayer.
Tonight’s fixture will, in addition, be preceded by a minute’s silence for former Larne Board member and groundsman Alan Girvin, who passed away last week.
Larne v Cliftonville
Tuesday, November 30
Tickets: Click here