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McDonnell urging Point stars to make up for Boxing Day struggle


Stephen McDonnell wants his Warrenpoint Town players to be ready to go to war when they face Newry City at the Showgrounds tomorrow.

It is part three of the 'Mourne Ultimatum', with the previous two league games between the clubs ending in draws.

They drew 1-1 in September when Phillip Donnelly netted a late leveller for Town and it was 2-2 at Milltown on Boxing Day with Deane Watters grabbing a stoppage-time equaliser.

McDonnell admits that Newry were the superior side in the festive fixture and his team were fortunate to earn a point.

Warrenpoint will enter the latest derby nine points clear of their neighbours, who have not won since November though produced a spirited performance in their 2-0 loss at home to Linfield.

"It is a cup final for us and a very big game against Newry. It really is massive," said McDonnell. "We owe ourselves a big performance for what we delivered on Boxing Day. We were miles off it but lucky to get a 2-2 draw.

"Only the players will be able to tell you why they didn't deliver that day. We know we can play a lot better. Certainly going into this derby I hope they are confident and ready to go to war."

If Jared Thompson, on loan from Chelsea, has recovered from pneumonia he will be back between the sticks for Town replacing Berraat Turker, who kept a clean sheet in last weekend's 4-0 home win over Institute.

Youngster James Magowan impressed in defence.

"We could have played Simon Kelly, Conal McGrandless or Josh Lynch but we gave the kid the vote of confidence on the basis he is a good player and has lots of legs and energy," said McDonnell. "He didn't look out of place."

Belfast Telegraph