Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Ballymena boss Walker wants to go on a run

Ballymena manager Roy Walker

Ballymena United boss Roy Walker is too long in the tooth to believe that any game in February will decide anything in the league come the end in the season.

However, this afternoon's game with basement club Glenavon could well determine what ambitions United will have between now and May.

"I feel that a win could really help to copper-fasten our position,” Walker maintained.

"It could go a long way to helping us make sure we pull clear of the foot of the table, allowing us to look above us in the table.

"We have to make sure that we keep on picking up points ourselves and the rest will take care of itself.

"The game is going to be like a cup match for both of clubs."

While Walker believes that today's game with have a cup tie edge to it, he watched his side make progress in their Irish Cup journey in midweek, with a 2-0 win away to Ballyclare Comrades.

He is now hoping a sustained cup run will spur them on to a similar purple patch in their league programme.

"A run in the Irish Cup helps to keep your season going, it gives you a momentum in the run in," Walker added.

"It means you're in with a chance of winning something before the end of the season and often help players keep focused in the league campaign as well."

Recent signing Nathan McConnell (pictured, below) goes straight into the squad for today's game and Braid boss Walker believes that the former Bangor striker will allow them to shift their focus in attack.

"I have known Nathan for quite a wee while now and I just feel that Ballymena will be the best fit for him - that this is the best place for him," Walker said.

"He will bring a strength to our forward line and a different dynamic to us going forward.

"Alongside Kevin Kelbie, we have Davitt Walsh and Michael Ward, but they're different kind of players.

"We wanted someone who was of a similar build to Kevin and it's now up to Nathan to settle in here"

Another striker Walker signed in the January transfer window, Colin Magill, will have to wait a while longer before making his bow at the Showgrounds.

The former Crusaders striker, who is on loan from H&W Welders, is still recovering an injury which will prevent him from training with his new team-mates for another three weeks. Also recently added is former Larne defender Ross Handford.

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