Mick McDermott feels ‘much more in the tank’ for Glentoran

Mick McDermott feels there is even more to come from his Glentoran side in what will be a stark warning for the rest of the Irish League.

The Glens go into today’s ‘Big Two’ clash level on points with Linfield having won their last seven games on the bounce.

And they have been doing impressive business off the pitch as well - securing the services of Michael O’Connor, Sean Murray and Darren Cole ahead of the January transfer window opening.

It’s a clear sign of intent from the Oval men as they prepare for a big second half of the season and the race for honours.

Glentoran boss Mick McDermott. Pic by Pacemaker.

“I think we’ve got another two gears to go up again,” said McDermott. “When you look at the players who didn’t start against Coleraine the other night plus we’ve added to our squad with three players coming in this window.

“When we had the ball against Coleraine I thought we could have gone up another couple of gears.

“I thought we could have done better with the ball but that’s a credit to Coleraine as well, they forced us into the errors.

“I thought we defended well.

“We were organised, and I thought we managed the game well.

“I thought we created five good chances, including the two goals.

“With a better decision or execution at the end we could have maybe scored more.

“But I think we’ve got much more in the tank.

“We couldn’t have asked for a tougher run, I think it’s six games in a row against the top six.

“But we’re not going to look too far ahead.

“We’ll just be looking at Linfield on Monday and that’s it.”

Today’s much-anticipated clash with Linfield will be another big acid test for McDermott’s men.

It’s the first time since 2008 that the ‘Big Two’ will meet in the traditional festive fixture as the top two in the Irish League.

There’s also set to be a bumper crowd of almost 10,000 packed into Windsor Park.

McDermott though says he won’t lose any sleep in the build-up to the game, and he will be encouraging his players to go and enjoy the occasion.

“I won’t be worried about this game from now until then,” he said. “It’s the games against the teams at the foot of the table you worry about.

“Because, according to some, you’re supposed to win those.

“But ‘supposed to win’ doesn’t get you the win.

“I won’t lose one wink of sleep over the Linfield game.

“I’ll be relaxed as can be.

“I’ll show up on Monday, put the players on the pitch and let them enjoy it.

“At Coleraine the players couldn’t hear any instructions from the side.

“So can you imagine what it will be like with 10,000 there on Monday.”

And McDermott is hoping the away support will make themselves heard again.

“When you go to away venues you hear how loud the fans are as it’s a consequence of some of these venues being tight,” he said. “Whereas when you get that number of fans at the Oval they’re split up more.

“I wish we could compact them into a smaller place at The Oval.

“The atmosphere was brilliant and it gave the boys a lift.

“When you’re winning, the fans here will help the boys fly.

“They’ve come back in their numbers and it’s been brilliant.”

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