IRISH LEAGUE: Gary Haveron ready for challenge as new Glentoran manager

Gary Haveron
Gary Haveron

New boss Gary Haveron admits he faces a baptism of fire in Saturday's Big Two showdown against Linfield.

David Healy's Blues have be flying high in the Danske Premiership table -- just five points behind title holders Crusaders, having played one game less, but Glentoran's form has sent them plummeting into the relegaion zone.

A horrible and embarrassing League Cup defeat by minnows Annagh United heralded the end for manager Alan Kernaghan.

Even under the club's Director of Fooball, Roy Coyle, there was little improvment from the performances on the pitch.

So Haveron is under no illusions with the size of the task he faces trying to haul the east Belfast club out of their latest state of disaary.

“I am thrilled to be appointed manager of this great football institution -- a club with a rich history," said the Glens new man. “I’m not afraid of the job. I know the size of the task that awaits me, but I’m up for the challenge.

“It’s my ambition to get this club back to where it belongs. Yes, we may be in the bottom three in the league table at the minute, but Glentoran needs to be challenging no only for cups but for the league title.

“I still may be relatively young, but I have worked under some great managers. A lot of their good habits have rubbed off on me.

“I’ll be hoping to tap into their expertise and experience over the coming months. I’ve worked hard in my time in management. Carrick Rangers was a great experience.

“But the expectation levels were not high . . . this is a different proposition altogether. I worked under strict resources at Carrick. One thing is for sure, I don’t fear the challenge."

Haveron admitted he had no problems taking over ahead of one of the club's biggest games of the season.

He added: “Some people will think that Steven Mills and I should have waited until after the weekend before taking charge.

“It’s perhaps not an ideal situation, but then I said to myself ‘if the players can’t become motivated for a Big Two game, then they shouldn’t be here'.

“There is nothing like going in at the deep end.

“It’s no secret the players have struggled over the past five of six weeks . . . the league table doesn’t lie, but there are quite a few players out injured.

“I’ll try to instill a confidence into the side. It’s difficult to win games when confidence is low. I’ll be asking the lads to go out against Linfield and take pride in wearing the Glentoran shirt. It’s important that the players realise what it means when they pull on that shirt.

“I know what it means to the supporters . . . the bragging rights in a Big Two game is massive to everyone."