Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Wright points the way for a merry Christmas

Three more points and a clean sheet is what Tommy Wright would love more than anything this Christmas.

The only sack looming large a couple of weeks ago around the Showgrounds was not Santa's as Ballymena United languished at the bottom of the table.

A few weeks later and the midweek win over Lisburn Distillery has lifted the Sky Blues to fourth place in the league.

While the yuletide is the time for giving, it is a Scrooge-like defence that has witnessed the twist in the tale of woe by the Braid.

Six wins out of seven games, the last five with clean sheets, has brought a broad grin to the face of a man who took delight in denying goals for a living in his playing days.

But Wright is not getting carried away and has warned his side not to take tomorrow's opponents, Institute, lightly.

"We're not getting carried away yet," he explained.

"We have had a good recovery from where we were a few weeks ago but this is just the start of the recovery and we must continue it.

"What we have done in the last few weeks is great but we know that in this league a few bad results are just around the corner.

"Look at Newry who have had a bad patch, but there are no easy games in this league with all teams desperate for points because getting into any new league is vital."

While they have been winning of late, it has been nail-biting stuff at times for United, forced to be patient before making the vital breakthrough.

This has paid dividends with the win over Distillery preceded by successes over Donegal Celtic and Larne; successes built on getting the basics right.

"For the past three or four weeks we've been doing the ugly things well," he added.

There was further good news as following on from new deals for Craig McClean and Mark Picking, two more players have re-signed.

Kevin Kelbie, top scorer for the past two seasons, has extended his contract by two years, and Northern Ireland Under-21 international, Aaron Callaghan, has also put pen to paper on a two-year deal.

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