Belfast Telegraph

Newry have quality to stay in the Premiership, says Mullen


Newry City AFC Manager Darren Mullen
Newry City AFC Manager Darren Mullen

By Gareth McCullough

It might have been another defeat for Newry City - their ninth in all competitions since the turn of the year - but for manager Darren Mullen, Tuesday's brave display at home to league leaders Linfield showcased more than enough to suggest his men have what it takes to beat the drop.

City, who occupy bottom spot on goal difference from Ards, were desperately unlucky not to take anything, having matched David Healy's visitors only to be undone by Chris Casement's header two minutes into stoppage time.

While Mullen was devastated, he was delighted with the much-improved performance which came after a dismal display in the 3-1 defeat to Ards.

"We asked them to go back to basics, what has got us here - working hard, closing down, working for each other, never giving up - and I'm gutted for them because they deserved something. It's a really cruel way to lose," he said.

"Linfield will go on and win the league, there's no doubt about that. They're the best team we've played all year and we limited them to set-pieces and going long. There are a huge amount of positives to take out of it.

"The lads did themselves real justice and what we do now is focus on Dungannon. It's hurt for a while but we'll get back at it on Thursday night, give the boys a break for the weekend and then get ready for Dungannon.

"We need to maintain that level of effort and commitment. There's no point in putting in that level of performance to go to Dungannon and fold. The players now know how well we can play and they see the rewards are there. If we play like this, I have every confidence that we'll be alright."

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