Ciaran Caldwell has hailed the arrival of Nacho Novo as a “massive boost” for Glentoran.
Novo came off the bench to make his competitive debut in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Dungannon Swifts.
The former Rangers star showed flashes of quality during his second half cameo, but it was Caldwell who earned the plaudits with the winning goal in the 73rd minute.
Eric Foley’s lofted ball was nodded back by Stephen O’Flynn, and Caldwell rifled an unstoppable drive past Andy Coleman from 10 yards.
“Nacho has settled in really well,” Caldwell said.
“There has been some good-natured banter in the changing room, and he is a team player.
“He is a Rangers legend, but when he came in he said this wasn’t about Nacho Novo, that it was about the team. And the players appreciated that. That gave everyone a lift.”
Caldwell admits Glentoran continue to be a work in progress, but believes Saturday’s gutsy win is encouraging for the season ahead.
“Last season this game might have got away from us. We would have drawn it or possible lost,” he added.
“You need that fighting quality. Teams like Crusaders have it in abundance.
“They are all mates and go out together, and when I was at Cliftonville it was the same. And those two clubs have won two titles each in the past four years.
“We need to build that camaraderie and togetherness at Glentoran, and you can see that it is happening. Hopefully we can build on this opening win.”