Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 13th April 2019

We’ve been looking forward to this game against Crusaders all week and we are totally focused on securing the positive result we need, to achieve our season long goal of clinching the league title.

However, we know that our visitors will not want us to win the title at their expense today, so today’s game will be a huge challenge against a team that has beaten us in two knock out cup competitions and whose players will be keen to impress to stake a claim for a place in their Windsor Park Irish Cup final team.

We come in to today’s game in good shape, following recent pleasing wins and clean sheets against Institute, Dungannon and Ballymena. Last weekend’s victory against Ballymena was particularly impressive, with the players withstanding considerable sustained pressure from the hosts in the first half, before grabbing and then protecting the decisive winning goal in the first minute of the second half.

The players deserve so much praise and recognition for their efforts and their first class attitude over the course of a long season and I also want to acknowledge my coaching and back room staff for all their support and assistance because we really are a close and hard working unit.

I’m delighted that Andrew Waterworth has signed a two year contract extension and Mark Stafford has signed a new one year deal. Both are popular and experienced professionals who’ve made significant contributions to our successes in recent years and I’m so pleased that they’ve shown this commitment to and faith in the club, by agreeing these richly deserved contract extensions.

In addition to our long term injury listed players, Roy Carroll and Mark Haughey, Josh Robinson will be a major doubt for today’s game, as a result of a knock picked up in last week’s game in Ballymena.

Congratulations to Kyle McClean and Michael O’Connor who were selected for their respective Under 21 international squads recently and I’m hoping that either Jamie Mulgrew or Jimmy Callacher will gain further recognition for our squad, by picking up the prestigious Ulster Footballer of the year award on April 29.

Congratulations to the players and staff of Linfield Swifts who recently won their league title and it’s great to see so many talented young players in the pipeline, wanting to stake a place to progress to our first team squad.

Our support at both Dungannon and Ballymena recently was fantastic and greatly appreciated. We really want the same level of support today to drive us on to the result we want to secure the league title.
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