Marfty Quinn may be getting a bit long in the tooth to be excitedly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.
The Bangor manager, however, has already made out his Christmas wish-list.
Top of that is sufficient points to ensure safety in the Irish FA Premiership between now and the Seasiders’ post-festive meeting with Lisburn Distillery on December 27.
And the Clandeboye Park boss will take his team to face Linfield at Windsor Park today confident that they can take a step towards securing survival before the halfway stage of the campaign.
“I know what I want for Christmas,” said Quinn.
“(Another) 10 or 12 points on the board so that we can guarantee ourselves Premiership status for next season and then enjoy the rest of the season.
“That was the aim at the start of the season and to be nearing that before the New Year is a real credit to the work the players have put in so far.”
Taking on Linfield in their own backyard is a daunting task for some managers, but Quinn has gone into battle there more times than he cares to remember against various Blues bosses and on occasions the odds have been upset.
“I remember back to my Cliftonville days when we got good results at Windsor Park a few times,” said Quinn.
“I didn’t have as good a record at Coleraine, although I do recall a 2-0 win over them at the Showgrounds on the opening day of the league one season.
“I am confident that we can go there and get at least a point and we are in a good position after an excellent result against Coleraine last weekend.
“We conceded five against Linfield and Crusaders first time out, but we’ve tightened up at the back and if we can go to Windsor Park and keep a clean sheet then I believe we have enough quality and flair in the team to always score goals.”
And although Linfield are enduring an indifferent run, Quinn doesn’t believe things at Windsor Park are as black as they have been painted.
“I know Linfield are disappointed with the results they have had and I think that some players are maybe not playing as well as they can,” said Quinn.
“When you look at them they are still in a position that nine or 10 other clubs would love to be in and no matter what they are still the team to beat.
“Their form does suggest that teams go there with a chance of getting something though.”