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'I'm here to win' - new Cliftonville manager Barry Gray

Credit: Pacemaker

New Cliftonville manager Barry Gray has set his sights high and made clear he will expect similar ambition from his players.

The former Warrenpoint Town man joins a side that finished 5th in the Danske Bank Premiership, some 31 points adrift of champions Linfield.

Gray believes this is not good enough for a club of Cliftonville's stature and history.

"We're here to win. Nice and simple," he said.

"Cliftonville as a football club in general want to be successful and me, on a personal level, as a manager, want to be successful," he added.

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In a decade in charge at Warrenpoint, he took them from the regional league to the top division of Northern Ireland football and claimed some notable victories, including a 2016 hammering of Glentoran, 4-0 at the Oval.

He has been praised for encouraging his teams to play entertaining, attacking football and has promised Reds supporters more of the same.

Gray's appetite for success will be boosted by the return of former goal-getter Joe Gormley.

After leaving north Belfast for Peterborough United, the striker returns for a second spell at the club where he scored 85 times in 133 appearances.

His new manager is in no doubt what he will bring to the team.

Gray replaces outgoing manager Gerard Lyttle, on a rolling contract basis.

Lyttle resigned from the top job at Solitude in April, to take over at League of Ireland side Sligo.

Tommy Breslin, Cliftonville's most successful ever manager, took temporary charge but made it clear he would not be taking the job on a permanent basis.