Clarke primed for tough St Pat’s test

Glentoran's Richard Clarke
Glentoran's Richard Clarke

Glentoran midfielder Richard Clarke admits he has been ‘swotting up’ on his team’s Setanta Cup opponents!

Eddie Patterson takes his East Belfast outfit to Dublin tonight to face St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park.

“It’s another big test for us,” says Clarke. “St Pat’s done well last year, finishing third in the league. I’ve watched them on television – they are a good side, they pass the ball well.

“They are about to start their new season so hopefully, we can catch them on the hop. At the same time, they are a full time outfit, with quality players.”

With heavy commitments in terms of domestic fixtures to deal with, Clarke states the Setanta tie hasn’t been high on the club’s radar.

“We haven’t really been focusing too much on the game simply because of our Premier League and Irish Cup schedule,” he added.

“We know the Irish Cup could be a major competition for us this season. It’s one we want to win. We enjoyed a good win at Bangor at the weekend, albeit after a shaky start.

“I saw Newington flashing before my eyes again when they took a two goal lead. But we responded in the right manner.

“It shows the character we have in the squad. We are prepared to roll up our sleeves when the chips are down. We won comfortably in the end.

“We are starting to get a bit of form together. It can be a big end to the season for us. We have reassessed our goals for the rest of the term. The league is well and truly gone, but we look at other competitions as possible areas where we can progress and do well in.”