Victory for the Reds at the BetMcLean Oval would turn the tables on the current one-point deficit and put Cliftonville in control of a three-team race for top spot which has Linfield as leaders on goal difference.
“The Glens have been excellent this season,” said McLaughlin. “Mick (McDermott) has done a brilliant job.
“He’s made some serious quality additions to his squad as well.
Manx Grand Prix: Michael Dunlop gears up for Classic Superbike victory bid on new Team Classic Suzuki GSX-R750
Organisers hope returning Mid-Antrim 150 will become permanent fixture on Irish road racing calendar again
‘Remember the sabbath day...’: Northern Ireland’s biggest Protestant church voices worries over Sunday football as Linfield gets ready to clash with Portadown
Kofi Balmer 'feels amazing' after making dream move to Crystal Palace
Larne and Glentoran share the spoils in season opener
“They’re going to be a team that’s going to be up there challenging for a number of years now.
“We’ve done well against them this season...it’s ‘even-stevens’ at the minute with one win each.
“The game that we lost we were probably a bit disappointed about it as we took the lead in it.
“It will be tough going there...they’re really strong at home, but the form these boys are in at the minute they’re looking forward to it.
“We’re in the business to compete at the top end and get to finals and, hopefully, win them.
“I can’t praise the players enough for their efforts throughout the season - and hopefully they get rewarded.
“I do believe they deserve it more than anybody else.
“We’ve given ourselves a chance in the cups and we’re clinging on by our fingertips in the league if anyone slips up.
“But that’s fairytale stuff, there’s so many games to be played and you have to be realistic as I can’t see Glentoran and Linfield losing too many...but if they do it’s up to us to capitalise on it.
“Up until this point the boys have been superb in all competitions and gone toe-to-toe with everyone.
“If the result against Coleraine (Irish Cup win) gives us another boost in any way on top of what we already have it is going to be brilliant for us.
“It’s a big result in terms of the fact Coleraine really came at us in the second half and threw everything at us.
“That’s why it’s a really big result for me more than anything because in the past we have conceded a lot of late goals.
“That’s a different team and character in there now and that determination not to concede late on when everything was getting fired at us was a big thing for me.
“It’s an exciting time.”
FIXTURES: Ballymena United v Linfield, Carrick Rangers v Portadown, Crusaders v Coleraine, Glentoran v Cliftonville, Larne v Glenavon, Warrenpoint Town v Dungannon Swifts