Belfast Telegraph

Play-off success will have Newry City manager McGibbon in seventh heaven

By Graham Luney

Pat McGibbon will lead his side into tonight’s battle with Lisburn Distillery trying to keep a 7-0 drubbing from Linfield and financial woes firmly at the back of his mind.

The Newry City boss has guided the Championship side into a two-legged play-off with the first scrap at Ballyskeagh tonight (7.45).

The return leg will kick-off on Friday evening at the Newry Showgrounds.

Lisburn Distillery are fighting to hold onto their cherished place in the top flight but the border boys can smell an upset.

It will be interesting to see if the City players have got that 7-0 Irish Cup semi-final thumping dished out by Linfield out of their system.

But the other elephant in the room is City’s financial woes with former boss Gerry Flynn winning an unfair dismissal case against the club and now due a significant payout.

Former Manchester United defender McGibbon said: “The financial side of things is well documented though I am not really privy to it.

“I’ve been concentrating on getting things right in the dressing room but at the same time we know the right structures have to be in place for there to be continued success at a football club.

“From day one since I arrived I’ve sought to keep the dressing room right and we have stuck together. We are not as bad a team as some might have thought after our heavy loss to Linfield and I’m confident we won’t freeze this time.

“It’s important that we keep the game tight and bring the Whites back to Newry with a big chance. Distillery are a quality side but I wouldn’t say there’s a significant gap between the bottom of the Premiership and top of Championship. In the Cup semi-final we just found the pace and power of Linfield too much to deal with.”

Distillery boss John Cunningham has faith in his men to deliver.

“We have players good enough to get us through,” insisted Cunningham.

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