Derry City rumours but Cliftonville call for Paddy McLaughlin to ‘keep building’

Defender Jamie Harney has urged manager Paddy McLaughlin to extend his stay at Cliftonville.

The former Institute boss has been linked to the assistant manager’s post at Derry City with the Reds’ agonising Europa Conference League play-off final defeat by Larne on Saturday leading to increased speculation.

But Harney, still trying to come to terms with his team’s gut-wrenching 3-1 loss at Inver Park which has cost the club in the region of £200,000 - reckons McLaughlin has some unfinished business at Solitude.

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“The speculation about Paddy doesn’t go away,” said former West Ham United man Harney. “He doesn’t give any indication to us...he’s a big man, if he has anything to say, he’ll say it himself.

Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

“I know every player in that dressing room would run through a brick wall for him – Paddy has given everything for the club.

“It will be his decision at the end of the day.

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“He has done a lot for me in terms of my career, he has done a lot for the players in the dressing room.

“Paddy is his own man and I would love him to keep building.

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“We feel that we’ve got to the stage that we’ve reached the turning point – we are not far away, we are training three or four nights a week, even though we are part-time players.

“We know to keep up with the big boys we have to give extra - Paddy and the coaching staff have given us everything, including the chairman Gerard Lawlor.

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“Sadly, we fell short in repaying them back by claiming our place in Europe.

“The defeat was a kick in the teeth...we are devastated because we give so much on the pitch.

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“We went through the season with a lot of lows and, after the first half, we were so positive in the dressing room...we thought ‘let’s go and get this, what have we got to lose?’.

“I think our second-half performance was outstanding, the second goal was a hard one to concede.

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“But congratulations to Larne.”

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