Scott Young believes Cliftonville has had a good chance of asserting his authority in the title race, but he insists there will be more cornering ahead.
The Reds missed a chance to climb to the top of the Irish Premier League after a goalless draw with Larne on Saturday.
Cliftonville, which is in trouble, is one point behind Linfield, with only three games left.
Young, the former Irish Premier League midfielder and manager, said he expects Cliftonville to use the Linfield draw on Friday night, but insists Paddy McLaughlin’s players haven’t done enough to win, which put them on top.
“I think this is a disappointing day for Cliftonville,” he told the BBC.
“It could have been worse, they could have hit. But after last night’s result I expected Cliftonville to be in attack from the first minute.
They were talented, spoiled and didn’t do enough to attack. They can thank the four and the goalkeeper for scoring the points.
“He didn’t lose everything, but he was in their hands before today’s game. Now it’s not. I still think there will be a lot of inversions, especially with teams like the Crusaders who are competing in such a race and have something to say.
“But today the fans here expected it to be a really glorious day in their last home game. They wanted to finish high, get three points, climb and all the positives that come with it.
“Unfortunately, that did not happen in Cliftonville.”
Cliftonville’s last three games were away, starting with the Easter game on Tuesday in Coleraine and then the North Belfast Seaview derby next Saturday.
Their last league game was away to Glentoran.
Young said, “I totally expected Cliftonville to score today. This was their last home game of the season and it happened after last night. I’ve been in this situation before and can’t wait to do it.
“But they gave up and exploded and their points go back to the four defenders and the goalkeeper. You look for your attackers to create that magic, but that doesn’t happen.
“Just like you, Cliftonville is behind Linfield in points and all you have to play for is.
“But if someone told you, Linfield would have drawn last night and you would have had a chance to climb to the top today, so you bite your arm.
“So they will be disappointed, but they still have a lot of competition for that title.”
He added: “I was expecting Cliftonville to deliver today and can’t help but think Buddy is going home with a sense of frustration tonight.
“But he made the players up before he left for Kollar on Tuesday.
“This guy has done a miracle. It’s half the budget of Linfield and Glentoran. They are a part-time club and are one point behind the leaderboard.
But the main thing is that those who do not get three points today will be disappointed.
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