Eddie Patterson urges players to claim European spot in Premiership

Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson
Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson

Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson insists Monday night’s Irish Cup defeat shouldn’t spell the end of the club’s season.

Two last-gasp goals from Kris Lindsay and Guy Bates saw Glenavon dump the holders out of the competition at the quarter-final stage.

It was a cruel blow for the Glens, who now have to lift themselves for a crunch Premiership run-in.

Patterson has set his sights on third spot, which would guarantee European football next term.

It is a huge incentive for the Oval club, and one the Oval boss hopes his players grasp with both hands.

“We have eight games left in the league, and in my eyes we still have a lot to play for,” Patterson said.

“We are only six points off Portadown who are third, and we have a game in hand.

“That is the target that we will set the boys now. Let’s see where we can go, starting with a massive game away to Ballinamallard on Saturday.

“I have said to the boys we have to go for third place, so there is still a target for us to chase and European football is an objective.

“We will continue fighting until that is mathematically impossible to achieve. We have a big game on Saturday and we will see where that takes us.”

Ballinamallard boss Whitey Anderson has urged his players to bounce back from their 5-0 hammering to champions Cliftonville last Saturday.

The Mallards were put to the sword by a hat-trick from Liam Boyce and strikes from Joe Gormley and Chris Curran.

“We just have to dust ourselves down and we have seven cup finals in the league. It is a ding-dong battle among the bottom three teams in the table,” Anderson said.

“We have to knuckle down and battle for every point. We fought to get here and we have to keep fighting to stay here. That’s the only way we can do it.

“We are determined to stay in the Premiership. We want enough points to stay out of the bottom two, and it is nothing more complicated than that.

“Last week’s defeat to Cliftonville is gone now – we have to move on and prepare for Glentoran which will be another very tough test.”