Paddy McLaughlin admits that, while last week’s defeat to Dungannon Swifts means Cliftonville’s major target for the season has changed, their short-term aims remain the same.
The Reds complete their pre-split programme in the Danske Bank Premiership with tomorrow’s trip to Newry City and the Manager is determined to pick up a victory which would both get the team back on track and deliver a timely boost to their European prospects.
“For a long time, it’s been about winning as many matches as we can and seeing where that takes us – and that’s still the attitude we have,” he explains.
“In terms of the League, I don’t see anyone catching Larne now. Second place and, depending on who wins the Irish Cup, third could potentially get you into Europe, plus there’s home advantage to play for in the Play-Offs so it’s important we finish as high as we can. We’ll keep fighting our corner as best we can.
“There’s been a lot of criticism that’s come our way in the past few days and we have had to take that on the chin as we prepare for Newry.
“It’s been a tough week and we’ve had to take a lot of criticism, but we still have jobs to do and targets to play for.
“One of our targets was to get to stay as high in the League as we possibly can until we get to the split and then every game becomes a Cup Final and that’ll not change, that’ll stay the same. We have to go and get a result against Newry, which will be difficult because they’re fighting for their lives, just like Dungannon were, and then every point after the split is priceless.
“We still want to finish as strong as we can and as high as we can.”
Newry City v Cliftonville
Friday, March 24: 7-8pm (Social Club)
Members Tickets and Season Ticket holders only