Tommy Breslin urges Cliftonville to maintain recent form

Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin
Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin

Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin has urged his players to maintain their recent performance levels ahead of their game against Warrenpoint Town.

The Reds trail leaders Linfield by two points, having won eight of their last nine league matches, their sole defeat coming against Portadown in January.

"There are only 21 points to play for and all we can do each week is look after ourselves," said Breslin.

"We must try to win our own match and then move on to the next challenge."

"We were very good against Ballinamallard last time out and that's the level of performance we must take into every game.

"It's not like Warrenpoint have nothing to play for themselves - they need points every bit as much as we do and will work us very hard."

Linfield midfielder Aaron Burns is doubtful with flu-like symptoms
Linfield midfielder Aaron Burns is doubtful with flu-like symptoms

The game comes just three weeks after the champions needed a last-gasp winner to overcome Dungannon Swifts at the same venue and Breslin believes similar character will be called for.

"Sometimes you have to dig in, work hard, really put the grind in and try to squeeze a result out. If that's required again, then we have to be prepared to do that, but we'll go down there with a positive frame of mind and ask the players to play their football and try to impose some authority on things."

Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray will be without Stephen McCabe and there is also a doubt over captain John Boyle, who is struggling with a knee injury.

Linfield will entertain the Reds in a crucial top-of-the-table encounter on 29 March, but before that they face Dungannon Swifts at Windsor Park on Saturday.

The Swifts, who still have Matt Hazley suspended, have never won at the south Belfast stadium in 11 seasons as a Premiership team.

The Blues will be without Ivan Sproule and Ross Glendinning, while striker Matthew Tipton is doubtful with an elbow complaint.

Aaron Burns is also a concern because of flu-like symptoms, but manager David Jeffrey is hopeful of having hamstring injury victim Philip Lowry available.

Fourth-placed Crusaders will hope to earn their first league points of the season against Ballymena United, who have defeated Stephen Baxter's side twice in the Premiership during the present campaign.

The Crues are still without skipper Colin Coates, who has returned to light training, while Matthew Snoddy is ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Craig McClean, Timmy Adamson, Aidan Watson and David Magowan are all rated doubtful for the Seaview clash.

Ballymena boss Glenn Ferguson has vowed to make changes following his side's inept display in their 3-0 defeat by an inexperienced Glentoran side last time out.

Portadown lie third and will hope to increase their hopes of securing a European spot when they travel to Clandeboye Park to play Ards.

Chris Ramsey and Peter McMahon are serving suspensions while Ronnie McFall has injury worries over Gary Breen (hamstring) and Keith O'Hara (torn thigh).

Ards defender Adam Rodgers is available after a ban, but has been receiving treatment on a groin injury.

A victory over Coleraine at Mourneview Park would clinch a top-six spot for Glenavon, who have Eddie McCallion back after suspension.

Ballinamallard are missing the suspended Mark Stafford for their home fixture against Glentoran, while Fergal Murphy and Danny Keohane are also absent.

Glentoran are likely to be without Marcus Kane, Calum Birney, David Scullion, Jason Hill, Willie Garrett and David Howland, who are all carrying injuries. Mark Clarke is suspended for the trip to Ferney Park.

Danske Bank Premiership - Saturday 15 February - 15:00 GMT kick-offs

Ards v Portadown

Ballinamallard Utd v Glentoran

Crusaders v Ballymena

Glenavon v Coleraine

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Warrenpoint Town v Cliftonville