Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson believes his team can enjoy a lucrative end to the season!
The East Belfast boys are chasing down European qualification on two fronts, which could bring in a huge financial dividend.
Patterson on Saturday takes his team to Mourneview Park to face an in-form Glenavon before an Easter Tuesday showdown against Big Two rivals Linfield.
Both Glentoran and Glenavon are now only three points adrift of Cliftonville and Portadown – they are all now pushing for that big money Danske Bank Premiership third spot.
Patterson, who has been named the BT Sports Manager of the Month by the NI Football Writers’ Association, admits every match is now a ‘cup final’.
But his plans have been hampered due to the fact that ace goal scorer Curtis Alleen - he has hit the net 20 times this season -- is banned for the next two matches.
“The Glenavon game ins now massive,” said Patterson. “Curtis will be badly missed. He has been scoring regularly. But it now opens the door for someone else to stake a claim.
“We were written off in any quarters at the start of the season. Not to many thought we would be in the Irish Cup final and battling for third place in the league table.
“However, we know that performance levels must lift in the remaining five games. We played poorly last week and still got the points, which says a lot.
“The three home games are against the teams immediately above us, Linfield, Cliftonvillle and Portadown. We’ve all got something to play for.
“Let’s see where it takes us.”
Patterson hailed the contribution of his backroom staff, which helped earn him his eighth manger of the month award.
“The coaching deserved a lot of credit,” he said. “We all took a cut to suit the wage budget. We’ve all been working on a pittance to be honest.
“But things are coming good. Not just because we have reached the Irish Cup final, but because of the way we are playing, and building something to restore this club to where they should be.
“I have one year left of my contract and I would love to keep that going. We are getting into a difficult situation, though, because there are players we would like to speak to.
“The first thing is obviously do they want to play for Glentoran? Then they obviously ask about finances and how long I will be there.
“I can’t go beyond a year because I only have one year left on my contract.
“Would I like to stay beyond that? Yes, of course I would. We are only partly through the job.”