Belfast Telegraph

Ards not panicking... just yet

By Keith Bailie

Ards midfielder Andy Smith isn't panicking despite seeing his side lose six of their first seven league games.

Niall Currie's side travel to Stangmore Park tomorrow hoping to claim a victory over this season's surprise package Dungannon Swifts. Ards currently sit in last place, one point behind Barry Gray's Warrenpoint Town.

Smith said: "Nobody at the club is panicking. Everybody from the board down to the players believes that we are going to get out of this. I don't know one person who thinks we will finish in this position.

"Of course, we would have liked to have won more games by now but there are still 30 games left and 90 points to play for."

At Ards, Smith is seen as Currie's on field reinforcer. The 30-year-old won two Championship titles with Currie at Loughgall, before joining his old gaffer at Ards.

After winning last season's Championship One title at a canter, Smith is happy to admit Ards have struggled to adjust to the top flight.

"I'll be honest, it's been very hard as there is a big leap in standard. It's okay doing well against a Premiership team in a one off cup game, but it's another thing doing it every Saturday.

"There is a big difference in the fitness levels and your opponents have greater tactical awareness.

"It's a hard transition for the supporters as well. Last season they were seeing us win nearly every week, and so far we've only managed one win. But most fans have backed us to the hilt and the players are working harder than ever before."

Mid-Ulster man Smith is well versed on Dungannon Swifts. The former Glenavon midfielder expects a tough game against Darren Murphy's men, who have already claimed three wins this season.

"Dungannon have taken 11 points from their first seven games, so we will not be underestimating them. I know a lot of the guys there, so I know they've got a good team that deserve to be in the top six."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph