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Ards board back Currie as Downey signs on

By Stuart McKinley

Premiership strugglers Ards have given their backing to manager Niall Currie following an emergency board meeting.

And they have put their support into practice by sanctioning the signing of former Cliftonville and Linfield midfielder Conor Downey.

Ards' Irish Cup exit at the hands of Belfast Telegraph Championship 2 club Armagh City last week came on top of winning just four times in 27 Premiership games this season.

A battling 3-3 draw with Linfield last Friday night, however, appears to have kept the pressure off Currie, whose team is eight points behind Warrenpoint Town at the bottom of the table.

A statement released by the club said: "The consensus was that the club's development plan is on track and that it was Niall Currie's early success, that had resulted in the team reaching the Premiership a year in advance of its target, which had perhaps left us all under-prepared for the transition.

"It was therefore decided that with the return of Steven Gordon to Glentoran and Ryan Moffatt going on loan to Loughgall that finance should be made available to the manager to attempt to bring in at least two new players."

That has already happened, with Loughgall left-back Adam Rodgers joining Downey at the club.

There could also be departures from Ards, if anyone isn't up for the fight against relegation as club chairman Brian Adams has challenged the players to back the manager too – and told anyone who isn't prepared to do so that they can leave the club.

"The chairman has met with all of the players to seek their dedication and total support for Niall Currie and the football club," the statement continued.

"Players who cannot make this commitment will be offered transfers."

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