IRISH LEAGUE: Allen’s aim for Glentoran team progress over personal success

Curtis Allen. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Curtis Allen. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Curtis Allen stands on the verge of a personal milestone entering the league’s final weekend - but is hoping to swap individual plaudits for team progress.

The Glentoran striker wants to walk off The Oval pitch for the last time in this season’s campaign to forget having hit the 20-goal mark.

A brace at the same venue in last weekend’s defeat of Portadown has placed Allen just two goals short of reaching that target when Glentoran tackle Ards.

As a striker, he accepts the pressure to produce in front of the net but Allen remains determined for team delight and a return to the Glens’ role at the top end of the table.

“Any striker probably sets a target of 20 goals each season and you get the first one then move on, we always want to score,” said Allen. “But I’m on 18 goals and will hopefully end the season with 20, however, it has been an awful campaign for the club.

“Mathematically we still had a chance of reaching the Europa League play-offs up to last weekend but, in truth we don’t deserve that reward.

“Glentoran should not be counting on another team to lose to stand a chance of getting into Europe.

“Performances have not been good enough and we are light years away from challenging for the league.

“We need to improve the squad size and the squad quality to reach the consistency you see from teams like Crusaders or Linfield.”

A contract extension signed this season will connect Allen to the club until May 2020 and he remains determined to drive Glentoran forward.

“You take a break after this weekend, get in a good pre-season and remember everyone starts next season on the same number of points,” said Allen. “It has to change and get better but Gary Haveron only has half a season or so under his belt at this club and is a top-notch manager.

“He has done everything well, in my eyes, since coming here and will look now to strengthen the squad.

“I’ve signed that three-year extension as I want to bring trophies back to this club.

“I want to be playing in front of big crowds in the big games, not meaningless fixtures at the wrong half of the table.

“Pre-season could be the catalyst.”