Cliftonville boss Gray hoping his side can bounce back from Cup Final defeat to secure European spot

Tue, May 08 2018

Cliftonville manager Barry Gray is confident his team can bounce back from their Irish Cup final defeat to earn European qualification for next season.

The Reds who lost 3-1 in Saturday's showpiece at Windsor Park host David Jeffery's Ballymena United at Solitude in the semi final of the Europa League playoffs on Wednesday night
 
"I've no doubt we'll come out stronger the other side of this," said Gray.
 
Top scorer Joe Gormley fresh from picking up the Golden Boot at the NI Football Awards on Monday is ready to go as he hopes to send his side into Saturdays playoff final. 
 
“The players in the changing room and the staff and the board that's around me, we all have one focus. We all are hell-bent on being successful," said Gray.

"While we're disappointed inside, the character of the players that we have, if you look at what they've had to deal with all year long and they've always come out the other side of it."

The last meeting of the two sides saw the North Belfast club win 3-0 thanks to a brace from Rory Donnelly and one from Gormley. 

Ballymena who beat Glenavon in last year's Europa League play-off final and the Sky Blues will be hoping to repeat that success again this season.

However Jeffery’s side failed to win a match since reaching the top six in the Danske Bank Premiership. 

In the other fixture tomorrow Linfield host Glentoran at Windsor Park.