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O’Hara hails Mourneview spark

Declan O’Hara paid tribute to Cliftonville’s players for meeting the challenge they were set against Glenavon last night.

As well as getting back to winning ways courtesy of finishes from David Parkhouse, Colin Coates and Ronan Hale, the Reds also avoided a potentially nervy finale by reacting to the hosts halving the deficit by promptly restoring their two-goal cushion – a welcome boost having seen healthy leads relinquished in both of their previous two games.

“Our overall performance was excellent from start to finish,” said O’Hara.

“Defensively, we were solid – yes, we conceded late on but teams are going to get a chance and I think that was maybe the first chance they had in the game. Credit to our boys, they’ve bounced back from a difficult last couple of results.

“Something we’ve spoken about over the last few days is that once a goal goes in against us, we have to forget about it. We have to move on and reset our mindset but, again, credit to the boys because they conceded, forgot about it, moved on and went up the pitch to score within a couple of minutes.”

Hale’s injury-time conversion ensured full Danske Bank Premiership points at Mourneview Park, where the night’s other scorers also won the Assistant Manager’s acclaim.

“We put Coatesy in and he was outstanding,” added O’Hara.

“He gives the whole squad a lift, like a father figure in the team and he was excellent, which makes other players around him lift their games.

“Parky was super. He’s only been here for two weeks but has fitted in like he’s been here forever. He’s part of the furniture now, he loves the place and we saw that when he scored his goal, he was over celebrating with the fans. He enjoyed it but that’s down to his hard work, down to his endeavour to make sure that we pick him.

“Everybody who’s put on to the pitch has to show that they’re ready to play when called upon and that’s important for us. The big man done 75 minutes and he didn’t stop.”