Belfast Telegraph

Dykes can count on support of everyone at Mallards, insists chief

 

By Steven Beacom

Ballinamallard United manager Gavin Dykes is staying on at Ferney Park and has the total backing of everyone at the club.

The Fermanagh side's chairman Gordon Lee has clarified that Dykes is under no pressure, insisting he remains the right man for the job after the ex-Derry City boss questioned whether he should be in charge in the future.

Dykes cut a demoralised figure eight days ago after bottom club Ballinamallard fell to a late 2-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Warrenpoint Town. It left the Mallards without a win in 10 league games and six points adrift at the foot of the table and Dykes admitted that he felt he was letting the club down.

After a week of reflection and a short break away, Dykes took training on Thursday night and is ready to go again today at home to Carrick Rangers in another fixture crucial in the battle to avoid relegation.

Ballinamallard chairman Lee stated: "Following the Warrenpoint game, there was a period of reflection for Gavin. He felt he was in a difficult position but after chatting with good friends he was at training on Thursday.

"The committee and myself are fully behind him. We realise he is working very hard in difficult circumstances and absolutely, Gavin is the man for the job.

"We would be worried if the players didn't want to play for him. But we know he hasn't lost the changing room, far from it, and the players were as disappointed as he was at Warrenpoint and with recent results.

"There is a real determination to do better for him. He is not under pressure from anyone. There is not one dissenter from that view in the committee of 16. We are right behind Gavin."

Lee acknowledges, however, that results need to turn if Ballinamallard are to stay in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Lee added: "After Saturday we are playing the three toughest teams in the league, away to Crusaders and Coleraine and home to Linfield. They don't get any harder than that, so of course everyone is aware how important the Carrick match is.

"We have always had a problem in this league scoring goals and it has been no different this time. We need a break in front of goal and we know if we can get one win on the board hopefully we can build on that.

"The game with Carrick is a big one. I know their manager David McAlinden and their players will see us as a wounded animal and he'll prepare his team to get a big result for them, but we are confident that Gavin and our players can put in a good performance.

"It's a crucial game and it won't be easy for either side. Hopefully we will come out on the right end of it."

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