Alan Kernaghan and Gerard Lyttle under no illusions ahead of Europa League play-off final

Glentoran boss Alan Kernaghan
Glentoran boss Alan Kernaghan

Glentoran boss Alan Kernaghan insists he is under no illusions going into Tuesday night’s Europa League play-off final with Cliftonville.

A lucrative €200,000 of UEFA money is on offer for the winners at Solitude (7.45pm kick-off).

It is a huge incentive for both clubs – adding spice to an already intriguing clash.

The Glens saw off Coleraine in Friday night’s play-off semi-final, but will be without the suspended Calum Birney, Jonathan Smith, Chris Morrow and Marcus Kane for Tuesday’s trip to north Belfast.

“It would be a significant achievement if we qualified for Europe,” said Glentoran boss Kernaghan.

“It would be huge for the club financially, and it would be massive for the players to play in the Europa League.

“But we have a very tough game in front us before we achieve anything, and Tuesday night is going to be a massive test.”

Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle – whose side finished fourth in the Premiership – has urged his players to end their season on a high.

“There is a massive prize on offer – an opportunity to get into Europe,” Lyttle said.

“It’s a chance to qualify for the Europa League through the back door and we’re determined to capitalise on that. It’s a huge game for both clubs.

“To play in European competition is always beneficial from a playing point of view. It’s a big incentive as a player to test yourself against a higher standard of opposition.

“There’s also the financial side of things. I want the players to play in Europe, but I’m also aware of the importance of bringing in extra money to help us compete with the likes of Crusaders, Linfield and Glenavon who have already booked their places in Europe.”