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Returning with interest

Paddy McLaughlin says Cliftonville are raring to get back to action after an unexpected Christmas break.

Tomorrow’s Danske Bank Premiership encounter with Glenavon at Mourneview Park represents the Reds’ first outing in a fortnight following the postponement of the North Belfast Derby duel with Crusaders – and the Manager believes his players are counting down the minutes.

“The boys looked after themselves and kept the head down over the festive period,” explains McLaughlin.

“There is a lot of temptation at this time of the year and it can be a test of your mentality but they’ve come through it with flying colours.

“We were ready to go on Monday. It’s a match we were looking forward to, especially because it’s been a few years since the Christmas derby game was at Solitude, but what happened happened and it’s been rearranged for next week so it’ll look after itself then. Ever since Monday’s game was postponed, our focus has been solely on Glenavon.

“They had a great win over Portadown in their own derby game. To win away from home with nine men for just under an hour is no mean feat, so their tails will be up and they’ll always give any team a serious challenge, especially at Mourneview. Gary Hamilton has gone a great job down there over his 10 years in charge and we know we’re in for another big test but it’s one we’re all looking forward to.”

Glenavon v Cliftonville
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