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Ballinamallard to attack wounded Cliftonville

By Billy Weir

Attack will be the best form of defence when Ballinamallard United play host to Cliftonville tomorrow afternoon.

Having watched his side ship in three goals against Ballymena that would have shamed schoolboy defenders across the globe, manager Whitey Anderson is demanding much improvement – at both end of the pitch.

The fortunes of the two teams in the League Cup were vastly different, the Mallards dumped out 3-0 at the Ballymena Showgrounds, while the Reds romped to a 5-0 win over Dundela, helped by Joe Gormley's hat-trick.

For the Fermanagh men it is untimely return to goalscoring form for the Cliftonville marksman but Anderson, far from shutting up shop, is going on the front foot.

"We gifted Ballymena three goals. That wouldn't have happened at under-16 level, it was brutal and I told them that," said Anderson.

"This time last year we were very good defensively, but there were boys who just switched off.

"Cliftonville are the champions, they can play a wee bit and if we do that on Saturday the two boys up front will destroy any team.

"We'll just go out and play. We won't be sitting back and letting them have the ball, we'll go out and have a go.

"They're a good side but we're going to try and have a go at them. We had good games against them last season, we beat them up there and had a couple of cracking close games at home against them."

The Reds have yet to hit the heights they scaled last season and much the same can be said for the Mallards whose solidity at the back has been noticeably absent.

"They're a wounded animal and we have to be very careful against them," warned Anderson.

"I think we're more Jekyll and Hyde at the minute, three losses and two wins, so hopefully that means it'll be three wins on Saturday!

"The incentive for us is to fight for every point and try and get as high up the table as possible. I don't care who it is you're playing, I definitely think in this league there's not a lot between the teams so we won't sit back and be in awe of them.

"Our problem at the minute is we're not scoring enough goals and giving away silly ones – that's not the formula for success."

Andy Crawford, given a deserved rest on Tuesday night, is likely be back to lead the line.

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