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Ards' season will turn around once farcical defending improves, says Nixon

 

By Steven Beacom

Ards manager Colin Nixon claims that nobody at the club is downhearted despite three defeats in a row and insists that he is confident results will turn around.

Nixon's team were impressive in their first outing of the Danske Bank Premiership, going down 4-2 to Crusaders at Seaview, then came a 2-0 defeat at home to Glentoran and a 2-1 loss to Ballymena United.

The scorelines have left Ards without a point and only above Warrenpoint Town in the table due to goal difference.

Next up for Nixon's men on Friday night is a home match with Newry City, who have collected three points to date. Already it is viewed as an important encounter for Ards, though Nixon, ever the professional, declares every game is vital to his club.

Bitterly disappointed to lose new striker Sean Noble for the season to injury, Nixon says when his players start playing well for the whole game, rather than in patches, Ards will deliver victories.

"We have played well at times in our matches. Against Crusaders we really pushed them at Seaview and in the Glentoran match we started off like a house on fire and then got three injuries before half-time," he said.

"I'm not sure any team could recover from that and we didn't. Then on Saturday at home to Ballymena United we played excellent football in the first half and were the dominant team but couldn't carry it through after the break," stated Nixon.

"We haven't played for 90 minutes yet. We have played well in a half of each game. Now we need to piece everything together for the full 90.

"There are no heads down. We know it is going to be a hard season with the resources we have but we have to get on with it and work as hard as we can."

On the necessity to break the duck and get points on the board, Nixon pointed out: "I've heard people say that the Newry match is a massive game for us. I don't see it that way. In this league every game is massive. We'll respect Newry but we will be going for the win.

"You can see in the league to date that teams have improved and so have we. It just hasn't reflected in the points we have gained so far.

"If the boys keep working the way they are and doing the things they are doing I genuinely believe the results will come.

"There are goals in this team and we are an attacking side. We need to defend better as a team because the goals we are conceding have been farcical. It's like slipping back into our old ways and we don't want to do that. We will stay positive and hopefully get something out of Friday night and that will ignite our season."

Meanwhile, Coleraine have made an announcement relating to their league fixture on September 3 away to champions Crusaders, which is being screened live on Sky Sports.

In a statement the Bannsiders said yesterday: "Due to Sky requirements Crusaders have withdrawn access to the South Stand at this time.

"Anyone who has a South Stand ticket needs to return and swap them at the shop or contact the shop to keep your tickets.

"They will only be reserved until Friday evening this week."

• Former Crusaders winger Gavin Whyte was on the scoresheet for Oxford United again last night in their 3-2 League One home defeat to Accrington Stanley.

Whyte netted on his first start last week for Oxford in the League Cup and in his first league start did the same. Former Northern Ireland under-21 striker Billy Kee was also on target in the game, scoring a brace, in Accrington's win.

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