Reds boss lays down a challenge to his players

�/Presseye.com - 2nd December 2016.  Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland - Danske Bank Premiership Coleraine V Cliftonville

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle.


Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com
�/Presseye.com - 2nd December 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland - Danske Bank Premiership Coleraine V Cliftonville Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle. Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com

Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle says it is up to his players how far they can go this season.

Lyttle was delighted as his Reds side closed the gap on leaders Crusaders following their hard-fought 1-0 win at Coleraine on Friday night.

It made it three wins on the bounce for Cliftonville and places them nicely in the chasing pack ahead of the crucial festive period.

“When you come to places like Coleraine and put in a solid performance and win it says a lot,” said Lyttle.

“I’ve told the boys it’s up to them how far we go. We can work on them during the week and practice what we want to do, but when they cross that line it’s down to them.

“We’re going in the right direction, but I’m not going to make bold predictions in December.

“We’ll keep focusing on ourselves and our goals, we’ve got good momentum and we’ll keep building on that.”

The only disappointment for the Reds was the news midfielder Ruairi Harkin has been ruled out for the rest of the season following an ACL injury picked up against Ballymena United.

“We’re devastated for him and obviously we have lost a big player,” said Lyttle.

“Ruairi being Ruairi he’s a model pro and he will work his socks off to come back better and stronger.

“As I say he’s a big player for us and it will be a massive loss for us but it gives someone else the opportunity to come in now.”

For Coleraine their unbeaten home run has now come to an end, but if truth be told they could have got something out of Friday night’s encounter.

But despite forcing Peter Burke into plenty of action in the visitors’ goal Oran Kearney felt his side weren’t in top gear.

“It’s possibly harsh on us on chances created, but games aren’t judged on that they are judged on goals scored,” he said.

“Hand on heart we weren’t in top gear, although we missed a few chances and the keeper saved a few, I still hoped we would have created a bit more than we did, we were a bit toothless at times.”