Belfast Telegraph

Newry can’t afford to keep relying on home comforts, warns astute boss Mullen

 

By Alex Mills

Newry City boss Darren Mullen believes tonight’s clash with Institute is a ‘six-pointer’ for both clubs.

After making an impressive start to their return to the Danske Bank Premiership, Mullen has watched his team alarmingly spiral down the league table of late.

Home form hasn’t been a problem, but Newry have failed to pick up even a single point on their travels.

Their latest bout of misery was delivered by a rampant Linfield last weekend, when defender Jimmy Callacher was given the freedom of the penalty box and allowed to pocket his first ever hat-trick.

It’s a problem Mullen insists needs to be addressed, but his immediate focus is on taking three points at the Newry Showgrounds tonight against another team that have made a return to the top flight this season.

“This is a massive game for both clubs — it’s a real six-pointer,” claimed Mullen. “Institute have been doing well, but mostly at home — a bit like ourselves.

“We certainly have reserved our best form for the Showgrounds and I hope that trend continues.”

Both clubs have been on the slide in the past few weeks. Institute are in a slightly better position, lying in eighth spot with 11 points from 11 starts, while Newry City are a further three behind in 10th position.

So, something must give tonight.

“Although all of our points have come at home, we have taken many pluses from some of our performances on the road,” added Mullen.

“We can’t afford to keep relying on our home form in this league, we need to start picking up points on the road.

“Even in last week’s outing at Linfield, we did well in parts. Jimmy Callacher wasn’t picked up on three occasions which was criminal on our part.

“The good thing about this squad is they don’t feel sorry for themselves, they keep playing the way they know they can. Unfortunately, we are being severely punished at times.”

Mullen is sweating on the fitness of defender Darragh Noonan.

Belfast Telegraph

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