IRISH LEAGUE: Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle not for tossing in the towel

Gerard Lyttle
Gerard Lyttle

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle is not for tossing in the towel, even though his team’s title hopes are now hanging by a thread.

The Reds dropped 12 points behind Danske Bank Premiership champions Crusaders following their narrow defeat at Seaview last weekend.

With Oran Kearney’s Coleraine due to visit Solitude on Saturday, Lyttle insists his team will be fighting for every point.

“We’ll not be giving it (the title race) up, make no mistake about that,” said Lyttle, who will be without George McMullan this weekend after the midfielder was sent from the dugout last Saturday.

“Crusaders are in the box seat. The reality is, it’s going to take a collapse of gigantic proportions for them to throw it away from their current position.

“We’ll look after our own house. We have our own targets in terms of Europe. Our aim it to pile on as many points to see where it takes us.”

Lyttle insisted the ‘big decisions’ didn’t go his team’s way at Seaview, adding: “There was a big penalty appeal when Jordan Owens appeared to handle a Johnny Flynn shot and the reaction of all my players said it all.

“The referee may have been unsighted, but his assistants didn’t do much to help him out.”

Meanwhile, Coleraine chief Oran Kearney will be hoping to get last week’s 3-2 defeat by Linfield out of the system – after squandering a two-goal lead.

“When you are in that position, you should be able to see the game out. The manner and the timing of the goals we conceded were disappointing,” he said.