Irish Premiership: Ronnie McFall will demand total Glens commitment in Reds game

Ronnie McFall issues instructions at Glentoran training on Thursday night
Ronnie McFall says Glentoran's talented players need to "get on the ball more"

Interim Glentoran manager Ronnie McFall will demand total commitment from his players as he takes charge of the squad for the first time in Saturday's Irish Premiership game against Cliftonville.

McFall insists that he will be in the role only until the end of the season following Gary Haveron's departure.

But he is warning the players that he will not accept any sense of drift.

"What I'm asking the players is to come off the pitch on Saturday mentally and physically drained," said McFall, 72.

With an Irish Cup quarter-final against Coleraine coming up in addition to the battle to clinch a top-six place in the Premiership, McFall insists that there is "still a lot to play for" in the campaign.

Having watched the Glens on a number of occasions this season, McFall believes that the talented players in the squad "need to get more on the ball and play".

"They have players with a lot of ability and if you've got a player with ability, you don't take it away from him," McFall told Glentoran TV.

Rory Donnelly is congratulated by Chris Curran after scoring one of his two goals in Cliftonville's 2-0 win over Glentoran at the Oval in October
Cliftonville beat Glentoran 2-0 at the Oval in October but it has been an inconsistent campaign for the Reds

McFall, who previously managed the club from 1979 to 1984, admitted that he had had "no intention" of returning to management before getting the "surprise phone call" from Glens chairman Stephen Henderson.

"I'm only too glad to assist. It's just to the end of the season so hopefully we can get a wee bit of confidence back."

On the face of it, the Glens could fancy themselves in Saturday's contest where they will face a Reds side that have blown hot and cold this season.

The north Belfast club's erratic run of results in recent months sees them lie fifth in the table, with an Irish Cup quarter-final against Linfield to come on 3 March.

"We have a massive couple of weeks coming up in the league and cup so we need to pick ourselves up, get our heads down and work hard and learn from our mistakes," said Reds boss.

"We are at a stage where we have to find consistency. Top quality players turning it on in fits and starts isn't enough for Cliftonville and it's not enough for me.

"We have to build a scenario where we see that more regularly in games rather than in patches of games."

Leaders Crues host Ballymena

Leaders Crusaders hold a two-point lead over Coleraine at the top of the table, with a match in hand, as they aim for a fourth win of the season over Ballymena United at Seaview.

The Bannsiders entertain Warrenpoint Town at Ballycastle Road, with manager Oran Kearney warning that their visitors will provide a "tough test".

"Warrenpoint are scrapping for their lives so the question is do they want the three points more to try and stay safe or do we want the win more to try and keep holding onto the coat-tails of Crusaders," argued Kearney.

Third-placed Glenavon are away to Carrick Rangers, while Linfield, in fourth, travel to Bangor to face Ards.

"Ards had a big win against Glentoran last week and it is a tight little pitch down there but hopefully the performance and result against Cliftonville will help give the players a bit of momentum, confidence and belief," said Linfield manager David Healy.

League Cup winners Dungannon Swifts return to league action by hosting Ballinamallard United, who are four points adrift of Carrick at the bottom with 10 rounds of fixtures remaining.

"We have 10 games left and we have to get more out of the players, who have to take more responsibility," said Mallards boss Gavin Dykes.

"It's going to be a tough few weeks and our recent record against Dungannon since I've been here is not great but we've got to keep going and be positive."

Danske Bank Premiership - Saturday 24 February - 15:00 GMT kick-offs
Carrick RangersvGlenavon
ColerainevWarrenpoint Town
CrusadersvBallymena Utd
Dungannon SwiftsvBallinamallard Utd
Coverage on BBC Radio Ulster and text commentary on BBC Sport website

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