Paddy McLaughlin gearing up for ‘superb’ Cliftonville’s Haugesund test in Europa League

Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughlin. Pic by Pacemaker.
Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughlin. Pic by Pacemaker.
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Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughlin believes his side will be competitive against Haugesund next week following a four-goal Europa League success at Solitude.

The Reds will play the Norwegian side at Solitude next Thursday, before travelling to Scandinavia for the Europa League first qualifying round away leg on July 18.

Cliftonville booked their place in the next round thanks to a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Welsh side Barry Town United at home last night.

Former Institute boss Paddy McLaughlin said: “We want to be competitive, there’s no sense that we’re happy with our lot because we got through one round.

“That’s not the way we operate.

“It’s a difficult task and we don’t have a lot of time to prepare for it, but we will give it everything we have.

“I was fully focused on Barry Town, we haven’t looked beyond them, but now I will trying to find out as much as I possibly can.

“I will try and watch as many videos and read as many reports as I possibly can between now and Saturday’s training session.

“I want my players to be as well informed as they possibly can be - we’re not going to Norway to make up the numbers.”

Cliftonville secured a 4-0 second-leg victory, following last week’s 0-0 draw in Wales, thanks to goals from Conor McMenamin, Joe Gormley, Rory Donnelly and Conor McDermott.

Reflecting on the win over Barry Town, McLaughlin said: “The most important thing was that we progressed, and we managed that.

“But the performance is a massive bonus, some of the football we played was superb.

“We were patient on the ball in midfield and we played with real tempo in the final third.

“Last week, in Cardiff, I was frustrated because we didn’t play the ball forward enough - tonight, we got it forward to Joe Gormley and Rory Donnelly more often and it worked really well.

“Barry Town just didn’t know how to contain us - and that’s no disrespect to them, it’s more to do with what we have in our locker.

“We cut them open so often because we have some really good players and I just can’t give them enough praise because they were sensational tonight.”