Eddie Patterson insists Jordan Stewart’s Oval exit won’t dilute Glentoran’s silverware ambitions this season.
Stewart travelled to England yesterday and is expected to sign for English League One club Swindon Town this morning.
The Glens agreed a fee in the region of £55,000 for the 20-year-old, with both clubs settling on contractual add-ons following a week of negotiations.
Stewart will realise a long-held dream when he signs professional terms with Swindon today – but his departure leaves Glentoranwith a massive void to fill.
Despite a week of intense transfer speculation, boss Patterson’s sole focus has been on Saturday’s Danske Bank Premiership game with Warrenpoint Town.
The Glens are still searching for their first win of the season after picking up just two points from a possible nine.
Some onlookers have questioned the east Belfast club’s prospects without Stewart in their ranks.
For Patterson, however, the onus is now on one of his current squad members to fill the void on Mersey Street.
“Jordan’s departure will obviously leave a void, but it is a golden chance for someone else to come in and prove their own ability,” Patterson said.
“Jordan was a big player for us, but we won’t lose our ambition now he apears to be gone. I have a squad here and they are more than capable of making an impression in the Premiership.
“So it isn’t the end of the world because Jordan is going. We move on with the players we have.
“We are constantly looking to bring more new faces in, and we will continue doing that.”
Glentoran opened the season with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Coleraine.
They followed that with a spirited 2-2 draw with champions Crusaders, in a game where goalkeeper Elliott Morris was sent off after just four minutes.
And on Saturday they came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against Premiership new-boys Carrick Rangers.
“We didn’t start on the opening day of the season. It was a dismal performance,” Patterson said.
“I thought against Crusaders we showed our fight and spirit and deserved to get at least a draw. We had to play virtually the whole match with 10 men, but we led twice and could have sneaked the win.
“Against Carrick we should have been three or four ahead at the break, but we didn’t take our chances and we then went behind.
“But again the lads dug in and got a point.
“We now have to try and get more consistency and get a 90-minute performance out of the squad.
“Two points from nine is frustrating, but we are confident we can start climbing the table.”
Looking ahead to the visit of Warrenpoint – who have yet to pick up a single point – Patterson added: “We have never had it easy against Warrenpoint, especially at The Oval.
“They will be desperate to get their season up and running, but we want to get our first win.”