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Young faces huge task at Glentoran

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Joel Taggart | 10:44 UK time, Thursday, 15 April 2010

So Scott Young is to be given the chance to revive the fortunes of Glentoran after a season of turmoil.

On a personal level I am pleased. Scott is a genuinely nice lad, was one of the first players I ever interviewed when I started working at Irish League games.

He always made me laugh with a smart one liner, even during the worst moments of his career when he was in the Ulster Hospital recovering from a serious leg break.

He will need that sense of humour to maintain his sanity in management and when I watch and listen to what is going on at Celtic it is hard not to think of the antics at the Oval this season.

young_burns.jpg

Scott Young watched as Glentoran's title hopes disappeared in a 3-1 defeat by leaders Linfield at Windsor Park

An interim manager battling to win the right to manage a club that he loves dearly on a more permanent basis, and lumbered with players who appear to have lost the appetite to fight for the cause or who just are not good enough. Rings true for both doesn't it?

At least Young can point to a trophy success. Yes, he was only in charge for the final but it was an improvement on the previous couple of results against Coleraine who deserve some silverware for their efforts this season.

You don't always get what you deserve in life or in football and I am not so sure that Coleraine will get the trophy that their brand of football this season warrants.

Linfield look to have the bit between their teeth. They are on the march towards a fourth domestic double in five seasons and are in the Setanta Cup semi-finals.

All this after a winter of discontent at Windsor Park when many in the south stand wanted David Jeffrey out. I often wonder if they are the same Linfield fans who hounded Roy Coyle out after one bad season. What a good idea that was.

Once again the Linfield boss has proved the doubters wrong, building another championship-winning side with a new group of young players who haven't been down this road before.

For Burns, Lowry, Allen, McAllister, Garrett and Blayney to name a few, it is all a new experience. But it was the signing of a familiar face that swung the title Linfield's way.

From the moment Peter Thompson arrived back at Windsor Park they had a new lease of life, an injection at just the right time.

Before he made his Blues comeback at Donegal Celtic, Linfield had won just one of their previous seven games. They have only lost two of their 13 league games since.

At the same time the manager settled on pairings in important areas of the pitch. Mulgrew, the driving force of the team, found the perfect foil in Robert Garrett. Billy Joe Burns and Philip Lowry on the right and perhaps most importantly, reintroducing Noel Baillie and/or William Murphy to the heart of the back four to provide the wise old head of experience to steer through the second half of the season.

Rebuilding for a crack at the title is exactly the task now facing Scott Young at the Oval with the man who brought him to Irish League football, Roy Coyle, taking on the role of sounding board.

As I watched Glentoran bow out of the title race with a whimper at Windsor Park last week I could not believe that a team that had played so badly for spells this season, but yet were handed an opportunity to go top, could throw that chance away without a fight.

There is no doubt that players at Glentoran are blessed with ability, but I would suggest Young learned a lot about their character and that will be a deciding factor when he does a Neil Lennon and writes out the list of players that he wants rid of.

Immediately after the Glentoran game last week, David Jeffrey spoke on BBC Radio Ulster about the desire of his players, about how he signs not just a player with ability but with a certain type of personality to cope with the demands placed on their shoulders at a big club.

It doesn't take me to tell Scott Young that it is the blueprint he needs to follow. If not, then I fear his managerial career could be cut short just as his playing career was in such cruel fashion.

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