Robbie McDaid celebrated a return to the teamsheet with a spot on the scoresheet as the centre-forward proved central to Glentoran’s weekend win.
McDaid bagged a brace either side of suffering from a foul which resulted in Hrvoje Plum firing home from the penalty spot.
Having endured an enforced spell on the sidelines due to concussion before marking a matchday return in style, McDaid has first-hand experience of the squad depth from either side of the Oval white line.
“I probably should have had a hat-trick but was more annoyed about being taken down for the penalty kick when clean in on goal,” said McDaid.
“Hrvoje is too good at set-pieces to bully the penalty off him - but I’m delighted overall for the boys as we needed a result after the past few weeks.
“Coming off three defeats in a row left us needing a result and that win puts us right back in the mix.
“We’ve games coming up now in a short space of time so momentum will be important.
“Everyone is fighting to keep the shirt because on the bench there are players with more than enough quality to be starting, so there’s lots of competition.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries over the past few weeks but it says a lot about the squad and the gaffer addressed that when he came in - the idea of a team, a community, a club going forward together whether on the pitch or in the stands.
“You only have to look around the place - we’ve a new gym, the changing rooms have been done up, the pitch is brilliant and there’s been some work done around the ground.
“Everything is going in the right direction so it’s up to us to push on and get Glentoran back up.
“Mick McDermott has come in from a full-time environment and really brought that ethos, it’s been a breath of fresh air.
“It’s a process. We know realistically we are looking further down the line but we need the foundations first.”
Alongside team development, McDaid maintains his personal drive towards individual targets.
“I’m on five goals now and finished with 16 last season so just trying to improve year-on-year,” he said. “Since Mick and Paul Millar have come in, I’ve been playing more through the middle, compared to wider in the past.
“I’m happy to be on the pitch. That middle role is a bit different and calls on me to hold the ball up.
“They told me to play on the shoulder as with my pace no-one is going to catch me on a ball over the top.
“Winning the games is enjoyable, whether you play well or not.
“The first half was scrappy but we were too hot to handle early in the second half and managed to kill the game off.
“We’ve loads of pace in the squad which we’ve probably not had over the past couple of years.
“Looking back, we could have scored a few more and I certainly feel I should have had another one or two.
“Thankfully, I was able to get on the end of a couple.”