Cliftonville boss Barry Gray hammers players and match official after derby defeat to Crusaders
Danske Bank Irish Premiership: Crusaders 2 Cliftonville 0
CLIFTONVILLE boss Barry Gray launched a scathing attack on his players following yesterday’s north Belfast derby defeat to Crusaders - and hammered the performance of match official Raymond Crangle for allowing the home side’s two goals to stand.
In a stinging rebuke, Gray accused “three or four” of his players of “prancing around” and playing in their comfort zones for too long.
Describing yesterday’s display as “pure sh***”, Gray added: “These players are far too comfortable in their own wee zones. I’ve had opportunities to have a go at them for months and I haven’t.
“I’ve stood by them but in the two games over the three days, they’ve sent thousands of supporters back up the road with absolutely f*** all, bar a load of grumping.
“The people that we should feel sorry for are the people that have spent their hard-earned money across the Christmas period to come and watch the last two games because it’s been absolutely atrocious.
“There are three or four players prancing around thinking they have a name – and let me tell you, in my book, there are no names in there.
“You earn your name. They are far too comfortable in their own right because wee Jimmy or Joey [in the stands] thinks I’m a brilliant player. Their bubble will be burst very quickly.”
Gavin Whyte grabbed a goal in each half for Crusaders to put more pressure on league leaders Coleraine who could only draw at home to Ballymena United.
Gray disputed both goals, claiming that Jay Donnelly was fouled for Whyte’s first-half goal and Joe Gormley was felled for the home side’s second strike in stoppage-time.
“It will always be the Raymond Crangle show,” slammed the Reds boss.
“Both are fouls. Has he got them right or wrong? In my eyes he’s got them both wrong. I won’t change my opinion on that. That’s how I see it, albeit he’s seen it differently. He might reconsider when he sees the replays. I think he’s wrong.”
The Reds have now lost back-to-back league games to Linfield and the Crues over the three days, ending their seven-game winning streak. Crusaders are now four points behind Coleraine with a game in hand.