Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 19th March 2022

Today we will face a difficult challenge from a Dungannon Swifts team that have achieved some positive results in recent weeks and will come here full of belief that they can continue their move away from the danger zone at the foot of the table.

We approach today’s game with a narrow three point advantage over Glentoran and although we hold a four point lead over Cliftonville, they have a game in hand away to Dungannon in midweek. This is sure to be a tightly contested title race over the closing weeks of the season and we will have to compete for every single goal and point in each of our remaining seven games.

Last week’s televised win against Crusaders was hugely pleasing and important. Ethan Devine scored a precious winner for us deep into injury time and the maximum points the win secured for us could prove to be highly valuable at the end of the season.

The delivery of Jordan Stewart’s corner for Ethan’s headed goal was superb and while the excitement and drama of the late winner will live long in the memory, what was just as pleasing was the resilience and will to win of each of the players, to keep going to the very end, to find a way of securing what was a vitally important win against defiant opponents.

Ethan and our other January signings have all settled in to the squad very well and they have certainly made an impact in the short time they have been with us.

We will welcome Jamie Mulgrew back to the squad today, following his one game suspension but Christy Manzinga will miss the second game of his three game suspension today.

On the injury front, I’m hopeful that we will have Conor Pepper, Sam Roscoe, Jake Hastie and Martin Donnelly fit and available for selection for the squad for today’s game. It was great to welcome Jordan Stewart back to the squad for last week’s game, following his recent injury lay off and he certainly made an impact when he was introduced from the bench.

We will again be missing Cameron Palmer today and Ross Larkin will be unavailable for the rest of the season.

I’m delighted that one of our young scholars, Josh Archer has recently signed his first professional contract with the club.

Josh has agreed a contract with the club until the end of next season and it’s fitting reward for the efforts he has put in, working with the other young scholars alongside our first team squad members.

Congratulations to our former player Trai Hume (now at Sunderland) who has been called up to the senior international squad for Northern Ireland's upcoming friendly games away to Luxembourg and at home to Hungary. He will join up with another of our former players, Shayne Lavery - now at Blackpool.

I want to congratulate members of the Cavehill LSC who will tonight celebrate their club’s 30th anniversary with a function in Glengormley. Hopefully, a positive result today can add to what should be an enjoyable occasion for all concerned.

We will need the positive backing and encouragement of all our supporters in today’s hugely important and challenging game, to maintain our position at the top of the table, so please get behind each and every one of the players on duty today.
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