Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 7th April 2021

Tonight we will face a huge challenge from a Coleraine side that are sure to be in title contention until the end of the season. They are a well drilled and well managed side who were on a fantastic unbeaten run until their recent setback at Solitude. They bounced back quickly with an impressive win against Larne and they have quality in abundance throughout their squad and are sure to cause us major problems tonight.

We've been through a gruelling series of weekend-midweek fixtures and the schedule is set to continue to be relentless until the season end. We are pleased to be top of the table but the chasing pack are close behind and we must aim to win matches to keep in front, in the closing stages of this demanding and unprecedented season.

I was delighted with the home wins against Cliftonville, Warrenpoint, Carrick and Dungannon, as well as the away wins at Seaview and Portadown but unfortunately, we suffered a setback in Ballymena and thankfully, we were able to come away from the weekend game in Dungannon with a much-needed win to maintain our challenge at the top of the table.

Shayne Lavery returned to the squad for Saturday’s game in Dungannon after his well-deserved call-up to the senior international squad for the recent games against Italy and the USA.

Kyle McClean suffered a serious cruciate injury during the recent home game against Warrenpoint and we all wish him well on the long road to recovery. On a brighter note, I was delighted that he recently agreed to sign a contract extension that will see him commit his future with the club until the end of the 2022/23 season.

Joel Cooper completes his suspension tonight following the recent red card in Ballymena and we look forward to welcoming him back to the squad for Saturday's game in Larne.

I was delighted to welcome Christy Manzinga back to the squad for last week's game in Portadown after a long injury lay-off. We've been without Stephen Fallon, Jamie Mulgrew and Mark Stafford in recent weeks due to injury and our medical team of Patrick Noble, Terry Hayes and Paul Butler have been working tirelessly to try and return players to the squad to help us deal with what has been a really demanding fixture schedule.

Congratulations to Niall Quinn who recently made his 300th appearance for the club. A fantastic achievement for a popular, versatile and important member of our squad and we were able to make him team captain on the occasion for the away game in Ballymena,

Tonight's game is a huge one and it's one I'd love to have our supporters in attendance at. We know however that you will all be watching the live TV broadcast and we will be doing all in our power, to bring you the positive result you will be looking for and hoping for.
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