CLIFTONVILLE manager Tommy Breslin has urged his players to shrug off their County Antrim Shield disappointment.
The Reds suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Ballymena United to crash out at the first stage.
It was a bitter pill for the holders but boss Breslin insists their focus now turns to tonight’s Danske Bank Premiership meeting with Donegal Celtic.
The Belfast derby at Solitude offers Cliftonville the chance to bounce back from their Shield defeat, and keep them top of the table.
“Tuesday night was very disappointing, but we probably didn’t deserve to win the game,” Breslin conceded.
“There were plenty of chances but we couldn’t convert any. We had a lot of possession but that doesn’t win you games.
“It was one of those nights and we have to learn from it and move on.”
Breslin is under no illusions going into tonight’s league clash with Celtic.
Stephen Small’s players are still searching for their first win this season and sit 14 points behind Cliftonville in the table.
“That means very little going into this game,” Breslin said.
“It is a tight league and there is very little between the top and bottom teams.
“We know Donegal Celtic will be coming to Solitude looking for the win. They won’t sit back.”
Reflecting on their start to the season, Breslin insists Cliftonville won’t be getting carried away with their table-topping status.
“It is nice being at the top, but there are 30 games remaining with 90 points up for grabs,” he added.
“If we are there next May then we can start getting excited, but there are a lot of teams breathing down our backs.
“Coleraine are there, Glentoran, Crusaders and Linfield.
“So we know there will be plenty more twists and turns to come this season.”