Glentoran head coach Mick McDermott may have collected an early present this week as ‘Manager of the Month’ but he is hoping his players can continue to deliver over the festive period.
A 10-point haul across November’s four-game Danske Bank Premiership programme secured McDermott the latest Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Association-backed Belleek trophy.
Now McDermott’s in-form Glens visit a Coleraine side aiming to draw home comfort from midweek delight on the road when securing a League Cup final spot by beating Linfield.
“First, I want to thank my players and staff,” said McDermott on the official Glentoran website. “Without committed players and staff my job is impossible.
“This award is for them, it is also for the volunteers who help me daily in every department in our club.
“I thank the Football Writers who work tirelessly every week to report on this fantastic league, I’d like to thank them very much for the award, it means a lot to me.
“It is an honour for me to accept this award; to be honest, I am surprised and humbled.
“It’s been a fascinating league season so far - every game is very competitive with some fantastic football on show.
“I’m really enjoying coaching in the Danske Bank Premiership, it’s a good standard of football.
“From a Glentoran perspective, we’re building a little bit of momentum with two wins on the bounce - hopefully, we can carry November’s form into December.
“I look forward to the exciting months ahead.
“Saturday will be another massive challenge for our club, but we’re more than ready for it.
“From day one we have always said that our goal this season was to be competitive in every game and to make teams worry about playing Glentoran!
“We are moving in that direction but are fully aware that we can’t take our foot off the pedal for a single minute, and we won’t!
“We must perform for 95 minutes each week if we are to keep climbing.
“We go to Coleraine on Saturday with a sole goal to perform as best we can, to perform for our club and our fans, who we know will make the long journey in great numbers.
“We know that if we do that then the points may be ours, we know Coleraine is a top team and they, too, will be up for this game after a massive win against Linfield midweek.
“We are looking forward to the challenge.”
Coleraine sit level on points with Crusaders and Cliftonville at the head of the standings. The Bannsiders’ march to the cup final arrived off the back of a league loss to Institute.
The Glens have a game in hand and visit Coleraine Showgrounds aiming to cut the five-point gap.
“The results Glentoran are putting together are impressive and to go to Cliftonville and win is impressive,” said Coleraine boss Oran Kearney on the club’s official website. “They’re building momentum the way anyone would want to and the expectation is there.
“They are definitely title contenders.”