Sport Glentoran boss Mick McDermott plays down negativity as he teases out 'big plans' for club

23:56  22 january  2021
23:56  22 january  2021 Source:   belfastlive.co.uk

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Glentoran manager Mick McDermott offers a candid assessment of the difficulties facing Irish League clubs during the coronavirus pandemic. While McDermott insists there has been no "unease" among Glentoran 's playing personnel with regards As McDermott helps plan for Glentoran 's future, he

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Mick McDermott has played down any negativity surrounding Glentoran's season as he teased out some "big, big, big plans" for the club.

The Glens sit seventh in the Danske Bank Premiership after 11 games.

The East Belfast outfit are 11 points adrift of the top-three and a distant 14 points off leaders and derby rivals Linfield, albeit with a game in hand.

There has been significant investment pumped into the club since Ali Pour's takeover was confirmed in the summer of 2019.

McDermott's squad has also been transformed since he stepped up to the managerial helm in March that year.

The recruitment drive continued last summer with several new high-profile arrivals, including former Premier League midfielder Gael Bigiramana and Northern Ireland international Luke McCullough.

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Glentoran manager Mick McDermott says the club are not going to "stop at this point in the Donnelly is not cup-tied as he did not feature for the Reds before joining Glentoran in January. And while the 28-year-old forward admits that facing Cliftonville will be "difficult", he insists his former side

Glentoran manager Mick McDermott says "quality and belief" has been key to their title challenge as they prepare to face Warrenpoint. Mick McDermott runs to celebrate with his Glens team after last Saturday's penalty shoot- out win over Portadown in the Irish Cup.

And after winning the Irish Cup back in July, expectation levels were rising in East Belfast with some fans and pundits confidently predicting a title surge this season.

"We're not where we expected to be, but we are not in any way in a panic," McDermott told this week's That's What I Call Football podcast.

"We came into this project on July 5, 2019. In the shareholder meetings we laid out what we wanted to do.

"We wanted to clear the debt of the club, build a squad, build a team that would be competitive and become a full-time club.

"We wanted to make the Oval a place where teams would worry about coming, like it was in the past. We also wanted to win a trophy, qualify for Europe, win in Europe and win a title.

a man wearing a hat talking on a cell phone: Mick McDermott © Getty Mick McDermott

"But that was a three-year plan, and we did all of those, apart from win a title, in one year.

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Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey thanks Glentoran counterpart Mick McDermott 's for "I've always been that way down the years. I'm not a shrinking violet in any way, shape or form, I can Social worker David Jeffrey thanked Mick McDermott for the gift of PPE. "For other people that might

"When we came in here on July 5, 2019 we didn't have one full-time player. We only had five players under contract.

"And within a calendar year we became a full-time club, making the team highly competitive, winning a trophy, qualifying for Europe and winning in Europe.

"And here we are debt free. In 2018 the locks were put on the gates of the Oval. So to go from that, the takeover in July 2019, and a year later with a Covid break to win the Irish Cup, qualify for Europe, win in Europe, and become debt free.

"And to rebuild the squad in the summer, to strengthen for the future. Our average age is 22 or 23 years old, apart from a couple of older lads.

"We have a really strong squad and we are building for the future.

"Sitting in seventh right now, I am not that worried. But we need to play games.

"We have made the Oval a place where teams worry. We have played 33 games here since we have been here. We have lost three, twice to Cliftonville and once to Coleraine.

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Glentoran boss Mick McDermott says the outcome of the Irish League season was the result of a lack of solidarity between clubs . McDermott 's Glentoran will meet Cliftonville in the Irish Cup semi-final in July.

Glens boss Mick McDermott said it is due to intense media coverage and social media reaction to "To take care of my player I felt it was better for him to be in a full-time environment at Glentoran McDermott said the club has been in contact with supporters during the last week, and admitted that

"So the Oval is somewhere teams don't like to come now. We have earned the respect of teams now."

McDermott added: "I am happy where we are, but I am not satisfied where we are in the league. No, definitely not.

"But I have seen the quality in my players, and that's why I am not worried. Whether we continue with these games for the rest of the season and hopefully show what we have got, or whether the league is voided, ended or curtailed.

"But this squad is not built for just now, it is built for the months and years ahead."

McDermott also teased out some "big plans" for the club, which he said would be "massive news" for the Irish League.

He added: "I am happy how the project is going. There are big, big, big plans which I can't share with anyone.

"But when it happens it will be massive news in local football, so I am happy where we are going.

"I know Glentoran fans want us to win now, but when we sit back and take stock of where the club has come from in a year, when you take out March to now as it has been a disaster for everyone, it really has been just over a year we have had our feet under the table.

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"We have expanded our community work, our women's team are league champions. So there is a lot going on.

"I know our die-hard fans it's about Saturday and the three points, I get that. I am not a fool, you have to win.

"But this is much bigger than Michael McDermott. This project will be here, with or without me. And there are massive plans, hopefully coming soon.

"And I think it will be exciting for everybody."

Meanwhile, McDermott has dismissed talk of him vacating his managerial position anytime soon to move upstairs at the Oval.

Already a board member, there has been some tentative speculation that he could adopt a full-time approach to the role.

"I'm on the board now. It is not a role I enjoy, I won't hide that," he said.

"It is not me but it is an essential role I am involved in.

"The thing I enjoy is working with the players and the team. So there is no sign of that happening in the near future.

"Will it happen in the long-term future? Potentially. It is always a possibiliy.

"But for the near future, no. This project is too excited.

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