Belfast Telegraph

Newry good enough for promotion: Mullen

Staying calm: Darren Mullen
Staying calm: Darren Mullen

By Stuart McKinley

Darren Mullen isn't about to initiate panic mode at Newry City, even though his team has suffered back-to-back defeats in their opening two Bluefin Sport Championship matches.

The Showgrounds boss is in no doubt that his players have the ability to turn things around, not because they are better equipped than when they were promoted two seasons ago, but because he believes that he has a stronger squad at his disposal than the one that for a large part of last season looked like they would survive in the Premiership.

Now it's up to the players to prove that by sparking a run of form that will get them among the promotion pack, starting against Ards on Saturday.

"We've had a good pre-season. Were unbeaten, but there are no points for that," said Mullen.

"We've a good squad and probably a better squad than we had last year. Declan Carville has gone to Ballymena and a couple of other lads have moved on, but we've kept the majority of the players that we wanted to."

Newry and Ards, who were also relegated at the end of last season, have had contrasting fortunes so far. Warren Feeney's men top the early table along with Dundela, the only other team to win both of their opening games.

The outcomes of the early fixtures give evidence of the unpredictable nature of the Championship.

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BLUEFIN SPORT CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES: Ards v Newry City, Portadown v Ballinamallard United.

BET McLEAN LEAGUE CUP FIXTURES: Armagh City v H&W Welders, Ballyclare Comrades v Knockbreda, Loughgall v Banbridge Town, PSNI v Queen's University.

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