Glentoran boss Patterson predicting tight title race

Joe Gormley takes on Glentoran's Mark Clarke
Joe Gormley takes on Glentoran's Mark Clarke

EDDIE Patterson believes opportunity could knock for a host of teams in this season’s Danske Bank Premiership title race.

Nine points cover the top seven teams as another unpredictable campaign of shock results continues to unfold.

Patterson’s Glentoran – who dropped into the bottom half of the table with Saturday’s draw with Cliftonville – are just one club who will have a significant say in the destination of the Gibson Cup this season.

But the Oval boss believes “any one of four or five sides” could claim Premiership glory next May.

“There is lot to play for this season. It has been proved that everyone is beating everyone else in this league,” he said after his side’s 1-1 draw with the Reds.

“Bottom can beat top on their day. We were off our game last week and DC punished us. There will be more results like that. It is a tight league and it is going to go to the wire.

“You have Cliftonville, then the surprise package of Ballinamallard who are second. There’s Coleraine, Crusaders and Portadown, and write the Blues off at your peril – simple as that.”

At the Oval on Saturday both teams failed to live up to the billing as the points were shared.

Jimmy Callacher provided some cheer with a perfectly executed free-kick in the 44th minute that nestled in the top corner of Conor Devlin’s net.

Liam Boyce replied for the Reds with another sublime goal – the Cliftonville striker directing a long-range shot over Elliott Morris.

Reds defender Marc Smyth was sent off in injury time after picking up a second booking from replacement referee Ian McNabb.

This came after match official Arnold Hunter was stretchered off after an accidental collision with visiting captain George McMullan.

“I am delighted we just got a performance this week, compared to last time against Donegal Celtic,” Patterson added.

“We spoke about it all week that the attitude of last week is not what this club is about. It is not about just putting on the Glentoran shirt and expecting to win games.

“You look at the guys who have graced this club in the past – the Jimmy Clearys, the Billy Caskeys etc. People like that there.

“Hard graft has always brought trophies to this club, and quality on its own doesn’t guarantee you anything.

“You need to put in the work as well, and that’s when you succeed.”