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Fordyce prepared for Gillespie battle

Published 26/08/2009

Daryl Fordyce could be forgiven for being the only person around the Oval not desperate to see Keith Gillespie strutting his stuff in a Glentoran shirt.

But far from looking over his own shoulder at the imminent arrival of the Northern Ireland winger, Fordyce is confident has can keep his place in a winning side, as well as learning off a master.

And after a superb display against Cliftonville on Saturday, it certainly seems the former Portsmouth man is ready to challenge his new team-mate for a start on the right wing.

Fordyce is by no means a natural right-sided midfielder, but he has made the position his own in recent times and is in no mood just to roll over for the veteran new-boy.

Gillespie won’t be involved when the champions entertain Ballymena United tonight — a match which was put back 24 hours so that it could mark the turning on of the new floodlights at the Oval — and Fordyce hopes to continue his early season hot streak.

“I know I will be seen as the player who may have to make way for Keith Gillespie but that’s not the way I see it,” said Fordyce, who admits he was stunned when his father told him Gillespie was joining the east-Belfast club.

“The manager has said that if we are winning and playing well, we will keep our places and you can ask for no more than that.

“No-one should be an automatic choice regardless of how they play and Keith is no different to the rest of us.

“I know it is up to me to produce the goods to stay in the team.

“Signing a player of Keith’s quality can only add to the club and every player in the squad.

“I, for one, hope to learn a lot from him.He has played at the highest level and he will improve us all.”

Roy Walker’s Ballymena travel to the Oval this evening on the back of four straight defeats.

Only Lisburn Distillery’s dismal goal difference is keeping the Braidmen off the foot of the table.

In recent seasons however, the Sky Blues have been known to cause a shock or two against the Glens.

“We owe Ballymena one for beating us last year when Kevin Kelbie scored in injury-time last December,” added Fordyce.

“I know they have lost their opening four games, but Roy Walker will have them believing they can come to the Oval and beat us because they’ve done it before.

“It will be up to us to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“If we can play our game, I think we are a very good side, as we’ve shown already this season.

“Unfortunately we haven’t managed to do it throughout an entire game, except for the Lisburn Distillery one and that is where we have to get to.”

Belfast Telegraph

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