Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 1st May 2022

Our league season comes to an end today after a long and challenging campaign and we still have it 'all to play for', on what is sure to be a dramatic, exciting and hopefully, successful final day.

We know what is at stake today and we know what we have to do but we also know that we will face a huge challenge from a Coleraine team that will play with freedom, boosted by last week’s win against Glentoran and aiming to build up further momentum to take into their upcoming Euro play offs.

Last week’s draw against Larne was nervy and hard fought and probably, a fair outcome, as we didn’t create enough clear-cut chances. However, the point gained was valuable and it maintained our slender one-point advantage at the top of the table, to take into today’s final day of the season.

We have an opportunity today to win the league title in front of our fans but we can only do that, if we produce the goods on the pitch, to secure the result that we will need against a team that has regularly caused us problems in the past and no doubt, will do so again today.

The post-split fixtures have proven as difficult as expected for all the top six teams and in training this week, we have prepared thoroughly with the aim of trying to secure the vital win that we need today, to keep control of our own destiny in our own hands.

We have a fully motivated squad who are ready to give their all for the club today and I want to thank them all for their considerable efforts over the course of a long and arduous season.

Unfortunately, we will have several players unavailable today. As well as our long-term absentee Ross Larkin, we will also be missing Conor Pepper, Michael Newberry and Cameron Palmer due to injury today. Our inspirational captain Jamie Mulgrew will also miss today's game, due to the injury which resulted in him being stretchered off in last week's game. We will assess Christy Manzinga in the build-up to today's game and we will also closely monitor Matthew Clarke who picked up a knock in last week's game. We are hopeful that we will have Stephen Fallon available again for selection within the squad which would be a real boost to all involved.

In our final programme of the season, I want to place on record my appreciation to all my coaching and backroom staff who've been wonderful in every possible way all season.

The positive support we received at last week's tense game against Larne was greatly appreciated and we will need more of the same vocal encouragement to get us through today's game. We will need patience and passion to help inspire our players, to hopefully deliver what would be a huge win, to see us finish the season the way we want it to end.

Have a safe and enjoyable close season and we look forward to seeing you back at Windsor Park for the eagerly anticipated challenge of a fresh European campaign.

Audaces Fortuna Juvat
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