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07 Mar 2021

Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin has been named Manager of the Month by the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Association.

In February, the Reds defeated Warrenpoint Town, Larne, Ballymena United and Carrick Rangers as McLaughlin’s men claimed 14 points from seven games.

It’s the first time the former Institute manager has won the prestigious award. He said, “I appreciate getting the nod from the Football Writers’ as there are several teams who were in top form in February.

“Earlier in the month we lost to Glentoran with the last kick of the game. Thankfully, the boys responded well to that disappointment and went on to claim four wins and a draw from the next five games.

“It was an important period of the season for us as we were in danger of being left behind. Thankfully, we have clawed back a few points on teams above us.”

Cliftonville signed seven players in January including striker Paul O’Neill and goalkeeper Aaron McCarey. McLaughlin is delighted with the impact his new signings have made.

“Sometimes it takes a few weeks for new boys to settle in, but they all hit the ground running. I think the January signings gave everyone the club a big lift. But now we need to prove ourselves by carrying this good form into March and April.”