Jim Magilton was pleased with the courage his players showed despite falling to defeat in last night’s Sports Direct Premiership clash with Linfield.
The Manager had vowed that Cliftonville would take a positive mentality into their performance at Windsor Park and, though he bemoaned the circumstances that led to both of the Blues’ goals, Magilton had plenty to be heartened by during his side’s sternest test of the season so far.
“Overall, I’m pleased because we’ve gone toe to toe with a very good team and, for parts, I thought we were extremely good,” he explained.
“We probably lacked the cutting edge which we have shown in previous games, but you’re playing against a very good side, and I thought that we gave a really good account of ourselves. We switched off in really important moments – those minutes before half-time are vital and then, obviously, so is immediately after you score a goal. We worked so hard to get back into the game and to concede a goal like that was so poor, but that’ll be lessons learned.”
Though naturally frustrated to have fallen to his first reverse as Reds boss, Magilton paid tribute to his squad for the application they have shown under the direction of the new coaching set-up.
“They’re still a group that are getting used to us and we’re getting used to them,” he added.
“Our job is to allay any fears they have. We want them to go and express themselves and go and play and I think there’s probably one or two that are still disbelievers, but that will come over the course of a season and hopefully disappointments like this will strengthen them and strengthen their beliefs in what we’re trying to do.
“I want us to go toe to toe with teams and come out the other side. Overall, I think a draw would probably have been a fair result. I’m biased in my opinion but I think we did enough in the game but you can’t switch off against top class players because you’ll be punished and we were.
“We’re a work in progress and I’m extremely proud of them. I thought they showed courage in abundance but we just got punished in those key moments.”