Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 1st October 2018

Today we will face a talented and motivated Ballymena United team who will come here full of belief and confidence and we know that we will have to be on very top form, if we are to pick up the win we want to maintain our positive and encouraging start to the season.

Ballymena have recruited strongly in the close season and they will pose a real threat to every team in this highly competitive league this season.

In our previous home league game I was delighted with the 3-0 win against a Dungannon team who always make life very difficult for us when they come here.

Unfortunately, we followed this up with a below par performance agsinst PSNI in the County Antrim Shield but at least we managed to secure the win to set up an intriguing home tie against Glentoran in the next round.

Last Saturday we came away from the Coleraine Showgrounds with a draw, just as our opponents today also did in midweek. The Coleraine game last week was a closely fought and tight game which could have gone either way and we could have maybe secured the win late on, had the crossbar and then the post not come to the home team’s rescue in the closing stages. There are such fine margins in football in such competitive top of the table games.

To date, we have kept a number of clean sheets and this has been a very pleasing feature of our early season form and it is a vital aspect of building momentum and laying down foundations for what we all hope will be a successful season.

The players have been working hard in training, defending and attacking as a team unit and the attitude and togetherness of all the squad has been first class.

Several players remain unavailable today due to injury and we are working hard to get Lorcan Forde, Mark Haughey, Ryan McGivern and Cameron Stewart back to full fitness, to increase the competition levels within the squad. Andrew Waterworth missed last week’s game in Coleraine due to injury and we are hopeful that he will be able to rejoin the squad today.

The size of our support in Coleraine last week was most impressive and with the partial opening of the Kop Stand today, I’m hoping that we will have a large number of new or lapsed supporters, as well as our regulars in attendance today, to get behind the team and to drive us on to the success that we all want. Your positive vocal encouragement is most welcome, appreciated and needed.
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