Cairns prepared for tough Lurgan Celtic challenge in Championship Two

FIRST STRIKE. Glebe Rangers player, Gareth Henry, rifles home the first of his side's 4 goals in their win over Limavady on Saturday.INBM35-14 042SC.
FIRST STRIKE. Glebe Rangers player, Gareth Henry, rifles home the first of his side's 4 goals in their win over Limavady on Saturday.INBM35-14 042SC.

Following Glebe Rangers exit from the Wasp Solution League Cup at the hands of Crusaders, Peter Cairns side had a weekend off to re-group.

The Glebe men are now back in league action on Saturday when they travel to Lurgan Celtic.

“We had no game on Saturday because it was the Steele and Sons Cup,” commented Cairns. “So I went along to watch Portstewart and Tobermore.”

Reflecting on the Crusaders game which the Premiership side won 6-1 Cairns added: “We started alright and went 1-0 up after a couple of minutes. We kept it tight for half an hour and to be honest despite them having a lot of possession they didn’t create very much.

“They equalised with a penalty then scored a quick goal straight after and that changed the tone of the game. They then got a third just before half time so it was a bit disappointing not to go into half time level. In the second half we had our backs against the wall and they scored a couple late on.

“The lads worked hard and it was a good workout for them. It was one of those things that it was about the experience rather than realistically thinking you’re going to get a result up there.”

Cairns men are back in league action, however, Lurgan Celtic will be out for revenge after the Ballymoney men dumped them out of the League Cup with a 4-1 win.

“It’s good to get back at league football and it should be that from now into Christmas, although we have a couple of weeks break after Saturday’s match.

“It will be a battle, I’ve no doubt,” said Cairns. “It’ll be the team who takes their chances that comes out with the win.

“That is what I thought that we did so well in our win over Limavady. They arguably had the better of the ball but we were just so much more clinical in front of goal.

“If we can get as comfortable and confidant as they were on the ball the I think that we will start hitting teams for really big scorelines.

“The frustrating thing has been that we have had a different eleven each game and it has been difficult trying to develop partnerships and relationships between the new players. Hopefully, we will have a full squad to pick from.

“We were very clinical when we played Lurgan in the cup (earlier in the season), but Lurgan still impressed. They have three or four experienced players who will make it a real battle on Saturday.

“It’s all about patience and it will be the team that takes advantage of their chances that will win.”

While other managers were working behind the scenes to make last minute signings. Cairns and his assistant Robert McCaw were happy with their squad.

“We had a look at a couple of players who were moving between clubs and if we were going to bring anyone in it was going to have to be someone who would strengthen the squad. However it had been pretty quiet on that front and we were happy enough with the players we had, it’s just a matter of getting them to gell together.”

Despite returning to action this Saturday after a weeked off, Cairns is far from impressed at the enforced two week break immediately after.

“Monday night was tough and the lads trained on Thursday night so it didn’t do any harm having Saturday off.

“They had played four games in 10 days which is a big ask for amateur players. The problem is Saturday 13th and 20th when we’ve no game, it’s definately more of an issue.

“No sooner are we back in league action than we have to stop for two weeks which seems crazy at this stage of the season. It would be great to keep on playing games, you need the continuity.

“I know there are cups and things but a break like this is madness. At the moment we are looking at arranging a friendly.

“We cant afford to go two Saturdays with no game. Even if we get a game for one of the days and train the other Saturday, it’s just too much at this stage of the season not to be doing something.

“Ideally if we get the chance we will play a friendly on both Saturdays, it really comes down to who is available.”

CHAMPIONSHIP TWO TABLE

Moyola Park 3 7

S&L Swifts 3 7

Lurgan Celtic 3 6

Dollingstown 3 6

Queens Uni 3 6

Wakehurst 3 6

Newington YC 3 6

Annagh United 2 3

Limavady Utd 3 3

Banbridge Town 2 3

Glebe Rangers 3 3

Portstewart 3 3

Tobermore Utd 2 0

Ballymoney Utd 2 0

Coagh United 2 0