Cliftonville appoint Barry Gray as new manager

Barry Gray will hope to turn Cliftonville into Premiership title challengers next season
Barry Gray will hope to turn Cliftonville into Premiership title challengers next season

Former Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray has been named as the new manager of Irish Premiership club Cliftonville.

Gray, who succeeds Gerard Lyttle in the Solitude hotseat, took Warrenpoint from junior football to the Premiership during a decade in charge.

He said: "Cliftonville fans like good, attractive and entertaining football and I can certainly promise them that's what we'll be working on from day one."

Gray joins the north Belfast side on a rolling contract.

His backroom team will include Harry Fay and Stephen Small.

Cliftonville's search for a new manager began when Lyttle left last month to become Sligo Rovers boss.

Tommy Breslin, who stepped down as Reds manager in 2015, returned to the club in a temporary role for the last league game and the Europa League play-offs.

Semi-final exit

Cliftonville finished fifth in the Premiership and their season ended with a 5-3 home defeat by Glenavon in Tuesday's play-off semi-final.

Gray operated in the dual role of manager and Director of Football at Warrenpoint until Matthew Tipton took over as boss last November.

The Co Down club was relegated in 2016 but has made an immediate return to the Premiership by winning the Championship title last month.

"I didn't really expect to be back in management quite so quickly because I'd always have been quite pernickety and fussy about what club was right for me and ticked all the boxes," added Gray.

Cliftonville does that, no question about it. There would have been very few other jobs that I'd have been interested in so, when the opportunity arose, it's not something I had to think about.

"I like my teams to play attractive football at a high tempo and that's what I'll be setting us up to do."

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