Gerard Lyttle succeeds Tommy Breslin as Cliftonville manager

Gerard Lyttle is the new manager of Cliftonville
Gerard Lyttle had a spell as a reserve team player at Celtic

Cliftonville have appointed Gerard Lyttle as their new manager following an impressive series of results during his time as caretaker boss at Solitude.

The 37-year-old was first team coach under previous manager Tommy Breslin, who resigned from the job in September.

The Reds have won five of their six games during Lyttle's time at the helm.

Mal Donaghy will remain as assistant manager, with former Donegal Celtic and Carrick Rangers boss Stephen Small in a role as a scout and opposition analyst.

Ricky McCann has been appointed Head of Sports Science.

"It goes without saying that I'm very pleased to take on this job," said Lyttle after news of his appointment was announced.

"I've never shied away from the fact that I would love to be Cliftonville manager and, much as I enjoyed my interim role, it makes me very proud to think that's now the case.

Mal Donaghy has been recruited as assistant to Cliftonville caretaker manager Gerard Lyttle
Former Northern Ireland international Mal Donaghy has been recruited as assistant to Gerard Lyttle

"Over the last month, I have been working as though the job was mine. Things have gone well so far and, while very little will change in terms of how we approach fixtures, I'm looking forward to putting foundations in place where strategy, style of play and training are concerned."

Joint manager of Amateur League Premier Division side Malachians from 2009-2011, Lyttle featured in excess of 60 matches for the Reds during a playing career which also included spells at Celtic, Peterborough United, Northampton and, in the Irish League, Ballymena United, Newry Town and Lisburn Distillery.

Capped at Under 21 level by Northern Ireland, UEFA Pro Licence holder Lyttle has been Cliftonville's first team coach since 2011.

Lyttle's interim period in charge began with an Irish Premiership victory over Glentoran on September 19, before Ballyclare Comrades were eliminated from the County Antrim Shield a few days later.

Three points were pocketed from a subsequent trip to face Ballinamallard United ahead of a thrilling 3-3 draw with Linfield at Solitude, with Saturday's narrow defeat of Dungannon Swifts followed up by Wednesday night's penalty shoot-out success over the same opposition as the Reds made progress to the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor explained: "Gerard has been excellent over these last few weeks and ticks every box of what we're looking for as a manager.

"He is a very proud Reds fan but, more importantly, a talented and self-motivated coach in whom everyone at the Club has full faith."

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