Irish Premiership: Devine criticizes ’embarrassing’ Glens in Cliftonville loss

Image source, Pacemaker Pressure

Image caption, Glentoran have won just two of Devine’s seven matches

Glentoran boss Declan Devine branded his side’s performance in the 2-0 defeat to Cliftonville ’embarrassing’.

Goals from Stephen Mallon and Ronan Hale sealed victory for the Reds, a result which means the Glens cannot finish higher than fifth this season.

They are also now winless in their last five games in all competitions.

“In recent weeks it has become clear that the team is broken,” Devine said.

“I’m ashamed of the execution, the (lack of) intensity and quality, everything about it, but it’s not surprising.”

‘Simply terrible’

Video Caption, Watch: Cliftonville v Glentoran

Glentoran’s last win came against struggling Ballymena United at the end of March.

Since then, they have exited the Irish Cup at the semi-final stage against rivals Linfield and have slipped to three consecutive league defeats, against Coleraine, Larne and now Cliftonville.

Devine admits Glentoran’s recent sub-par performances have not absolved him of blame, but believes the players must also take responsibility.

“I don’t take the blame off myself for putting the team there, but they can’t perform the way they did there, last weekend in Coleraine and in the semi-final of the Irish Cup. This club has to mean more than that,” he said.

“It was quite clear from the performance levels that this side was broken. I didn’t think Cliftonville needed to do anything to win the game like Coleraine did last week and that was totally unacceptable.

“Whether we win another game between now and the end of the season remains to be seen, but that certainly won’t happen with that application and the lack of intensity with which we played in a very important match.

“To charge fans to come and watch that, I can apologize because that’s not the way I can run a team out there. It’s just terrible.”

‘Back to the drawing board’

Image source, Pacemaker Pressure

Image caption, Glentoran are winless in their last five games in all competitions

Glentoran have just one game of the season remaining, a home match against Crusaders, before attention turns to the end of the European play-off season.

Devine will be hoping for a response from his side and praised the impact of the young players who came on for Solitude in the second half of the match.

“The young players who came on gave us a lot more than in the first half,” Devine admitted.

“The first team panel doesn’t pull enough weight. I know there is talent there, and I know there are people who are already looking at where they will be in the coming months, but there is no excuse for that performance.

“In the play-offs we have to take a good look at ourselves, because we have no chance if we play like this.

“The last two Saturdays have been nothing short of terrible. Now it’s back to the drawing board to see who wants to play and fight for the club.”