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Full Time

January arrivals a major boost to Mallards' safety mission: Dykes

By Billy Weir

Ballinamallard United boss Gavin Dykes is hopeful that familiarity will breed content for the Ferney Park outfit.

After a 2017 to forget, the new year has brought new hope for the Mallards with a plethora of new arrivals.

A much-needed crazy 6-4 win over Cliftonville was followed by the heartache of last weekend's penalty shootout loss to Ballymena United in the Tennent's Irish Cup, but Dykes is seeing positive signs ahead of tonight's trip to Glentoran.

"We've brought in six players in January and it's only the fourth or fifth time we've played together," he said.

"Ballymena are a threat, and I thought we handled it quite well, but we've been knocked out so we'll move on.

"We had a very difficult 2017 and we couldn't get the players in we wanted at the start of the season.

"We worked very hard in December and to be fair to the club they gave me some money outside of the budget, and I think we were a bit surprised to get six players, but I knew we needed them and I knew exactly what I needed.

"If we'd had them at the start of the season would we be in the position we are in? I don't think so, but we are where we are, we're bottom of the table and we've got to pick up a few points to get out of that trouble, and I think we will.

"We could rest a few players on Saturday. We didn't start Ryan Curran, James McKenna or Stuart Hutchinson, and Stephen O'Flynn wouldn't have played only he's suspended on Tuesday night.

"The league is a priority for us. I believe we can compete with anybody when we're at it and over the last few weeks we've been pretty good, so we just have to look forward to Tuesday night now."

Meanwhile, Glentoran's rearranged game away to Carrick Rangers will be played on Tuesday, February 13.

Belfast Telegraph

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