Belfast Telegraph

Lisburn Distillery chasing shot at Europe

Tommy Wright has told his Lisburn Distillery players to forget about their Co-operative Insurance Cup final date with Portadown.



While the Whites will set about ending a trophy drought that stretches back more than a decade, Ballyskeagh boss Wright has his eyes on a prize that won’t win him any silverware.

The former Northern Ireland goalkeeper is looking at the bigger picture and the season overall would be termed as a success if Distillery can be involved in a fight for Europe in the latter weeks of the campaign by virtue of making the top-six split.

“I have told the players to put the final out of their heads,” said Wright.

“Whether we go out against Portadown and win the cup or not, I believe that it would be a greater achievement for the club if we finished in the top six.

“Considering this time last season we were battling against relegation and a lot of people thought we were doomed it would be an incredible achievement.

“It would also be a reward for how hard we’ve worked over the last 18 months or so to restore the pride in the club.”

The Whites hopes of being in the top half of the table come April took a hit when they lost at home to Ballymena United last Saturday — although their fate is still in their own hands.

Wright wasn’t happy with the performance of his team, but can just about accept it when he looks at the reasons for a below par display.

“Nobody was happy with the performance against Ballymena, neither me or the players,” said Wright, whose team will face second placed Crusaders tomorrow.

“We’ve had a lot of games over the last few weeks and the result of that can often be an ineffective performance and a lack of energy, but I expect a fresher team and an improvement against Crusaders.”

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