Tommy Breslin taking nothing for granted as Cliftonville close in on title

Joe Gormley takes on Glenavon defender Eddie McCallion
Joe Gormley takes on Glenavon defender Eddie McCallion

Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin says that “nothing has changed” as his side chase down back-to-back Danske Bank Premiership titles.

The reigning champions extended their advantage at the top of the table to three points with Saturday’s 5-0 victory over Glenavon and, with just two fixtures left to play, stand on the brink of the first successful title defence in the history of the club.

Even so, Breslin maintains that his players’ only focus is on the challenge provided by Portadown on Tuesday and a thorough examination against the only side whom the Reds haven’t beaten this season.

“We came into this week knowing that three wins would get us where we want to be and nothing has changed,” he explains.

“There are still six important points to play for and we’re not in a position to take anything for granted, especially considering how difficult our remaining fixtures are.

“Portadown have beaten us at Solitude twice this season and, in the game at Shamrock Park, we were 3-1 up with only a matter of minutes remaining and ended up hanging on for a draw, so that tells us everything we need to know about how hard it’s going to be. Nobody knows better than us what Portadown are capable of and, with European football still in their sights, they’re every bit as hungry for the points as we are.

“After that, we go to Crusaders and, like all derby games, that will be a big test too but, first and foremost, we’re preparing for the Ports and there’s no talk of anything outside of that.”