IRISH LEAGUE: Alan Kernaghan demands big finish from Glentoran

Glentoran manager Alan Kernaghan
Glentoran manager Alan Kernaghan

Glentoran boss Alan Kernaghan believes his team can produce a rousing end to the season.

The East Belfast team make the short journey across town on Saturday for a crunch Danske Premiership meeting with rejuvenated Cliftonville at Solitude.

Although the Glens have experienced a miserable campaign, they are currently four games unbeaten and could end up by qualifying for Europe, via the play-offs!

“We still have everything for play for,” said Kernaghan. “We are in a nice little run which has come at a good time.

“Obviously, the games are getting more and more difficult as we now face a Clftonville team that are up to third place in the table.

“After that, it’s Linfield, Glenavon and Crusaders, so there is nothing easy. Cliftonville have got a little bit of momentum going again. They will be buoyed after a great result against Glenavon last week, so we’ll have our work cut out.”

Kernaghan, insists his boys should have came away for Coleraine last Saturday with three points, instead of one.

“We and enough chances to win by four or five,” added Kernaghan. “I don’t know how many times Curtis (Allen) hit the woodwork. It was one of those days the ball wouldn’t go into the net for him.

“In the end, we had to rely on Elliott (Morris) pulling off a couple of fantastic saves to get the draw. Overall, it was a satisfactory performance.”

Kernaghan will be without defender Calum Birney and midfielder Chris Lavery for the visit to Solitude.

“Birney sustained a damage ankle in training, while Lavery is on the way back following a knee injury . . . he could well return next week,” added Kernaghan.

"So apart from Birney, the squad will be along the same lines as last week.

“Stephen Rice, of course, has left the club following his brief stay. He just couldn’t juggle his work commitments with playing on Saturday. He was lacking in match fitness. It’s unfortunate because he had a good knowledge of the game.”