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Magilton on teams call

Jim Magilton says that, while he’s keen to give some of Cliftonville’s younger players exposure to Sports Direct Premiership football, he intends on fielding a competitive line-up this evening.

The Reds bring the curtain down on their League programme with a trip to face Linfield at Windsor Park and, with both teams locked into their positions in the standings ahead of meeting in next weekend’s Clearer Water Irish Cup Final, there is an expectation among supporters of both Clubs that established names will be rested for today’s tie.

Magilton has, however, stressed the importance of keeping players ticking over and enhancing their match sharpness alongside any possible introduction of some Academy stars.

“I’d like to give one or two of our younger lads a taste of a game like this,” he explains.

“We’ve Joe Sheridan added to the group and he’s had an outstanding season in the Under-18s and he’s one we have really high hopes for. The same with Keevan Hawthorne and the same with Ryan Corrigan, though unfortunately Leon Graham has dislocated his knee so he won’t be around it.

“But there are also some senior players who we want to give game time to. We’ve had a few injuries over the last number of weeks and it’s been a case of managing them as best we can – taking them out of certain games, trying to rest them up but also trying to make sure they get the minutes that they need.

“We were able to do that against Glentoran last week but there were a few players we weren’t able to get on the pitch that it would be good to get involved against Linfield.

“It’s an opportunity for a number of players and everyone involved wants to deliver a performance.

“There are a lot of good young players that it would be great to see in action but, at the same time, there are senior players who need to be part of it as well and all of that will dictate the team we put out.”

Linfield v Cliftonville
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