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Gareth Fullerton

Gerard Lyttle believes Glentoran's 'time will come' as he addresses Mick McDermott comments

Gerard Lyttle believes Glentoran's "time will come" and has urged the club's fans to give Mick McDermott more time to deliver.

McDermott has come under increasing pressure following a woeful run of form that has left the Glens playing catch-up in this season's title race.

They currently lie sixth in the table, 13 points off leaders Cliftonville albeit with three games in hand.

Read more: That's What I Call Football podcast S5 Ep13

McDermott has also come under fire after labelling a small section of supporters who allegedly shouted abuse at him at last Saturday's Irish Cup win over Moyola Park as "balloons".

Lyttle believes the comments were an "act of frustration" from McDermott, and says the Glens manager will be "hurting" after watching his side spiral down the table.

"I was reading an article which says it takes four years to rebuild a team, or a club. In terms of profiling your players, getting the right players in etc. You could bring 11 players in the first year and it still won't be enough to bring success," Lyttle told Belfast Live's That's What I Call Football podcast.

"You could touch lucky but it takes four years to build a squad and cement everything.

"I get that Glentoran has always been one of the biggest clubs in the country and they want success. They see the money coming in and investment put in place, but there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to build the club and redevelop the stadium.

"I have said it before. Be careful what you wish for. The amount of hours and work the guys put in there. Mick, Windy (Paul Millar), Tim (McCann) and Rod (McAree). You can see the hurt on their faces when things don't go well.

"They want things to go well, and players have to see that as well. And really it is up to the players to respond now and I genuinely believe Niall McGinn will lift standards and lift the mood."

McDermott moved to clarify his "balloons" comments earlier this week, reiterating that it was directed at a "very small group of people" who "shouted vile and abusive insults" during the game.

He also put on record that the majority of fans "have been brilliant and continue to show support even as we moved through a very challenging period".

Lyttle says he can empathise with McDermott, adding: "I know Mick's comments didn't go down too well. But we have all thought that in the past as managers, to be honest. And players, too.

"That's just frustration coming out of Mick's mouth. The hard work and investment he puts in, and he goes to the game and he has family members there who are working behind the scenes.

"So he deserves some credit for what he has done."

He added: "Mick wears his heart on his sleeve and speaks from his heart. I know his character and what he is like, and I love that in him, too.

"You do have to be careful with the language you use. For me, the comments at the weekend were spur of the moment frustration.

"He puts a lot of hours into Glentoran. And let's not forget the gates were getting locked not long before Mick and Ali Pour arrived.

"I love the passion he has.

"I know Glentoran fans will say 'aye, when will our time come?'. But I think it will come, and it takes time to build a winning squad.

"Look at Manchester United, they have gone through a few managers in recent years but things are clicking now.

"So I would urge Glentoran fans to be patient. Things are progressing. Just be patient and I think your time will come."

Former Cliftonville title winner Barry Johnston also believes patience is needed if Glentoran want to lift their first league title since 2009.

He said: "I know Glentoran are a big club with big money and big ambitions. But Mick has put a hell of a squad together, and they should let that develop.

"Give the manager time. It can be hard, but from a professional point of view I think they need to let him have another couple of seasons with his own squad.

"And if it doesn't work then they can leave it on good terms."


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