Paddy McLaughlin hails Cliftonville's quality squad

Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin hailed he qualities of his squad as they bid to keep the pressure on the top two in the Danske Bank Premiership.

By Steven Crawford
Friday, 18th February 2022, 1:00 pm

The Reds, who are four points off leaders Glentoran, can leapfrog second-placed Linfield with victory at Dungannon Swifts tonight and McLaughlin says their form is all down to the players.

“The squad has been unbelievable this year, they keep upsetting the odds with their performances and results,” he said.

“That’s down to the squad, the quality right through it has been superb.

Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin

“Daniel Kearns has come back like a new man. He has real quality about him and I thought he was excellent against Coleraine.

“The boys we’ve brought in and added to what we’ve already had - boys like ‘Cricky’ Gallagher, Jamie McDonagh and big ‘Coatesy’ who has been superb in the last two games.

“We have good players battling it out for the same position, and you need that.

“It is difficult having to make the tough calls at times, but when you know that when you take one out the player you’re bringing in is just as good you take a bit of comfort from that.

“Any changes we make doesn’t weaken that team at the minute.

“They are all on the top of their game and raring to go.

“We’ve almost got two players for every position chomping the bit for a game, and you need that throughout the season.

“The likes of Aaron Donnelly is frustrated not to be playing, and he’s every bit as good as Levi, and Levi knows that, but that’s why he plays so well and so consistently because he knows there’s a player waiting in the wings for his position.”

McLaughlin is taking nothing for granted though as they head to Stangmore Park.

“They are a really good footballing side,” he said.

Dean Shiels has done a brilliant job there, they have some great young talent.

“I like watching them, I don’t like playing them as they are very good.

“It will be a good game, two good footballing sides that try to play out from the back, but it’s going to be a tough battle.”