IRISH LEAGUE: Glentoran boss Gary Haveron is top man for October

Glentoran boss Gary Haveron

Glentoran boss Gary Haveron

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Gary Haveron will lead his team into Saturday’s Danske Premiership showdown with ailing Portadown at the Oval with a huge smile on his face after being named the October Manager of the Month.

It’s amost instant recognition by the NI Football Writers for the new Glentoran boss after leading the east Belfast side to three successive victories - against Dungannon Swifts, Cliftonville and Carrick Rangers - after picking up his first point at home to Ballinamallard. However, Haveron began his era having suffered a narrow defeat by Linfield.

“It’s been an enjoyable start,” said Haveron. “We had to have a quick turnaround, the club desperately needed to get wins on the board.

“We needed a boost in confidence as quickly as possible. The first game against Linfield was a disappointment. I think we deserved something from that match, but the rest of the results have been pleasing.

“We got our first point against Ballinamallard and built on that result with three wins. It’s been an encouraging start, but that’s all it is.There is a long, long way to go. We had to get a bit of steel and resilience about us . . . we had to become hard to beat. We had to become disciplined.”

Haveron will urge his boys to maintain the winning habit against a Portadown side that currently sits bottom of the table, having suffered its fair share of disappointment this season.

The recent sequence of results has meant that Glentoran have climbed out of the bottom three and now established a healthy gap over the basement side.

Haveron admits his goal this season it to nudge into an European play-off place, by the end of the campaign.

He adds: “It’s the case of taking one game at a time. If we start setting unrealistic targets and we fall short, then we are under-achieving.

“Given recent results, we’ve given ourselves a chance of competing for the top six. That would be a good achievement, given our starting point. That’s where a club like Glentoran needs to always be.”