Paul Kirk has vowed to ignore the criticism of a small section of the Lisburn Distillery support as he attempts to win his first trophy with the club.
The Whites boss became involved in a heated exchange of words with fans angry at the departure of defender Paul Muir following Saturday’s Irish Cup victory over Banbridge Town.
In what should be a period of optimism for the New Grosvenor side, sitting third in the Irish FA Premiership, through to the last 16 of the Irish Cup and preparing for a Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final against Newry City at Mourneview Park this evening, the strained relations between the manager and fans have threatened to hog the spotlight.
Kirk, however, is adamant that won’t be allowed to happen and he will carry on striving to bring success to the club.
“I will not let a few unhappy fans defer my focus on doing my job of trying to continually build and improve the team and the club,” said Kirk.
“Not one of them can say that I haven’t done a good job or that I have had anything but the best interests of the club at heart in everything I have done.
“Paul Muir was popular with the fans, but he was popular with me also, otherwise I wouldn’t have brought him to the club in the first place.
“There was interest from Ballymena United which I made Paul aware of, like I would any player, but although I have to trim the wage bill at a time when other clubs are increasing theirs, I cannot make players leave and the decision was down to Paul himself.
“He decided that for himself, his family and his career that Ballymena was a good move and I told him that I would support him in his decision. He was not forced out of the club.
“For the fans to have a go at me for something which I have no control over is ridiculous.
“The flak doesn’t bother me. I did come out of the dressing room to try to reason with the supporters, but you can’t reason with the unreasonable and the same people who are criticising me won’t be giving me praise for bringing Darren Armour back to the club, for signing Gary Browne when he could have gone elsewhere for more money or for bringing Curtis Allen.”