IRISH LEAGUE: Glentoran boss Alan Kernaghan demands big improvement

Glentoran manager Alan Kernaghan
Glentoran manager Alan Kernaghan

Glentoran boss Alan Kernaghan is demanding in instant response from his boys when they face Glenavon at the Oval on Saturday.

The east Belfast team were taken apart by Big Two rivals Linfield at the same venue on Tuesday night -- a defeat Kernaghan branded as 'unacceptable'.

They face another tricky test against Gary Hamilton's Glenavon who are closing on a third place finish in the Danske Premiership table, which could be could enough to guarantee them European football -- and a financial bonanza -- next season.

“I thought we were making progress in terms of playing as a team and being a bit more solid, but hat was ripped to bits in midweek," blasted Kernaghan.

“We started poorly, which was annoying. I reminded the players of what pulling on the Glentoran shirt means before the game. Linfield have now beaten us three times. It was really disappointing as it was on our own patch.

“It wasn’t good enough, but it wasn’t a total surprise to me. It’s no secret that we need a revamp -- we've known that since before Christmas. It’s a shame that we couldn’t lift ourselves for a game against our biggest rivals.

“I didn’t learn a thing from the game other than we need to rebuild this team."

Kernaghan is hoping to have Johnny Addis, Fra McCaffrey and Calum Birney available for the weekend.

He added: “Johnny Addis was ill in midweek. Fra and Calum were injured. We’ll see how they are for the weekend. It was good to get Chris Lavery same game time against Linfield.

"It will be another big test against Glenavon, but that's what you get at this time of the year. I knew the games would become harder and more difficult.

“Glenavon had another good win in midweek against Coleraine and they are now pushing hard for third place.

“We’ll certainly need to show some bouncebackability! We’ll need more grit and determined . . . more than we had in midweek."