Reds bank on new striker Joe Gormley for TNS game

Cliftonville hope their new striker Joe Gormley can continue his pre-season goalscoring form when the club face TNS in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Gormley goes into the first qualfying round, first leg tie having scored six goals in four warm-up matches.

The Reds' new forward accumulated 61 goals for Crumlin Star in the Amateur League last season.

"We took a chance on Joe and so far he has been exceptional," said new Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin.

Gormley's good form makes up for the temporary absence of Chris Scannell.

Defender John Convery, recruited from relegated Newry City, is still recovering from injury and Peter Steele, a pre-season acquisition from Glentoran, has just returned home from holiday.

Martin Donnelly has settled in well at Solitude ahead of his competitive debut, and new goalkeeper Ryan Brown has arrived from Ballymena United.

The Reds have already beaten TNS 2-1 away in a friendly this month but Breslin believes that result will make little difference to the outcome of the Europa tie.

"A competitive match is very different from a friendly so we are not taking anything from the outcome two weeks ago.

"At least we are used to their playing style and we are playing in a climate we are used to rather than 40 degree heat," adde the Reds boss.

Cliftonville reached the third qualifying round of the Europa League last year, before going down to Bulgarian outfit CSKA Sofia over two legs.

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