Football: Dec Wants to Finish Season on a Big High; IRISH LEAGUE TITLE RACE HOTS UP REDS SET TARGET Carnegie Premier League

The Mirror (London, England), March 24, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Football: Dec Wants to Finish Season on a Big High; IRISH LEAGUE TITLE RACE HOTS UP REDS SET TARGET Carnegie Premier League


Byline: Darren FULLERTON

CLIFTONVILLE defender Declan O'Hara says the Reds must set themselves a target of 18 points from their last six league games to finish the season on a high.

The north Belfast club is currently second in the Carnegie Premier Division and trails leaders Linfield by just three points as the campaign reaches its finale.

And while the Blues are strong 1/2 favourites to lift the title - O'Hara says Cliftonville haven't given up the chase.

"Linfield are everyone's favourites to win the league and I don't disagree with that," said O'Hara.

"They have a three point advantage with just six games left and they have the strength and depth to go all the way again this season.

"Our aim at the start of the campaign was to secure Setanta Cup and maybe European football and that hasn't changed.

"But maybe we can go better than that. Who knows? Our aim has to be to win our last six games, take maximum points and see where that takes us."

O'Hara is also aware that a resurgent Glentoran are now just one point behind the Reds in third place.

"If truth be told, we probably have one eye on what's happening below us as much as we do on Linfield," he said.

"The Glens have put a decent run together and they're right back in it. They are a quality side and people were mad to rule them out of the race a few weeks back.

"They are just one point behind us now so it's vital we put a string of results together to ensure we stay as high up the table as possible."

Cliftonville will bid to bounce back from last week's disappointing 0-0 draw with second-bottom Larne when they travel to O'Hara's former club Coleraine this afternoon.

"We were gutted after dropping points last week, but it's important we get back on track as soon as possible," said O'Hara.

"Going to Coleraine will be very difficult. They have been on a good run recently and games between us are normally very tight.

"Coleraine is not an easy place to go these days, but we have to go there looking for maximum points.

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