Gray pleased as Cliftonville produce a clinical reaction

Cliftonville manager, Barry Gray.  Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Philip Magowan
Cliftonville manager, Barry Gray. Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Philip Magowan

Barry Gray was delighted with the clinical edge Cliftonville produced to see off Newry City on Monday night.

The Reds found themselves a goal down after only four minutes at Solitude, but they produced an excellent reaction hitting the target three times in seven minutes to wrap up the points before half time.

It may have killed the game as a spectacle, but Gray was only worried about the three points.

“We made a sloppy start to the game and we were disappointed with that as it gave Newry something to hold on to,” he said.

“But I was very pleased with our reaction to that.

“If I’m being honest we probably played 20 minutes across the 90, we managed the game out, but it ended up being nearly too comfortable at times.

“We can’t read too much into the performance against Newry.

“We were professional and did what we had to do.”

Gray knows his side will need to be on it for the entire game when they face Ballymena United on Saturday.

“It will be a very different game,” he said.

“Teams have struggled against Ballymena all season long, they are probably the in-form team in the league.

“In my opinion they don’t get the praise they deserve.

“We won’t get it all our own way, we know that, but you have to be confident in your own ability.”

The Sky Blues are brimming with confidence, and boss David Jeffrey was delighted to secure their place in the League Cup semi finals following their 1-0 win over Ards.

“It’s a tough place to come to, so I’m mightily proud of the players, and delighted we’re through to the semi finals,” said the United boss.