Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 28th January 2019

Tonight will be another tough game, as we face up to the challenge of another ‘Big Two’ derby against our main rivals, Glentoran. League table standings count for nothing in this fixture and we know that we will have to be on the very top of our game, if we are to earn the win we want, to maintain our pleasing position in the league table.

Glentoran always provide a formidable obstacle when they play against us and they will want to put on a committed display for their supporters and the live TV audience.

We are in a good run of form and results but the challenge is to maintain that attitude and momentum. Games are coming thick and fast and we will continue to take each game as it comes and look no further than the next match.

I’ve been delighted with our recent wins against Warrenpoint (4-0), Crusaders (1-0) and Newry (2-0). Clean sheets are so important and I was delighted with young Gareth Deane who made an impressive penalty save, to help earn us a vital midweek win in Newry,

Individually and collectively, the players are showing a first class attitude, on the pitch and off the pitch and the resilience and stength of character that was on show to battle our way to a huge win at Seaview last week was truly inspirational. However, that is in the past and it’s tonight that matters and our players should need no extra motivation for a keenly contested ‘Big Two’ Derby.

I’m delighted to have signed 20 year old midfielder Kyle McClean on loan from St. Johnstone until the end of the season. I’ve worked with Kyle at underage international level and he’s a player who will strengthen our squad and add to competition levels over the remainder of the season.

We’ve agreed to release Robert Garrett from his contract to enable him to sign for Glenavon. I want to thank Robert for his service to the club in his 250 games and everyone at the club wishes him well at Mourneview Park.

We’ve agreed to let young Ryan Strain go on loan to Carrick Rangers until the end of the season and he will benefit greatly from the increased opportunities for first team game time that he will hopefully get there.

Andrew Waterworth returns to the squad tonight, following suspension but we will have a number of injury doubts.

Roy Carroll was injured at Seaview, ruling him out of the midweek game in Newry and we will assess his fitness, ahead of tonight’s game.

Andrew Mitchell was stretchered off at Newry with a bad leg injury and he will miss tonight’s game. Stephen Fallon and Kirk Millar also picked up injuries in the Newry game and they will be doubtful for tonight’s game.

Ryan McGivern and Cameron Stewart have both played several games for the Swifts on the comeback trail and hopefully, they will be getting close to contention for a place in our first team squad.

Mark Haughey continues on the road to recovery and young Lorcan Forde picked up a knock while playing for the Swifts at the Brandywell recently, so we will continue to monitor his progress.

Our support at Seaview last week was excellent and I cannot emphasise enough how much it’s appreciated, especially in the middle of this very busy schedule of fixtures. We will certainly need our supporters to be right behind us tonight, as we go in search of a vital and much needed three points.
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