Belfast Telegraph

Newry must deliver big performance to repay fans: Boyle

Retaining belief: John Boyle (below) says Newry must put in a big performance
Retaining belief: John Boyle (below) says Newry must put in a big performance

By Alex Mills

Defender John Boyle admits that the odds are stacked against Newry City as they aim to avoid the relegation trap door tomorrow - but they will give it their all in tomorrow's final match.

They not only must defeat Kris Lindsay's Dungannon Swifts at the Showgrounds but need near neighbours Warrenpoint Town to take three points off Ards.

As if that's not enough, City also require a four-goal turnaround if they are to complete the great escape - it's certainly a big ask.

They have certainly made a huge impression in their debut Danske Bank Premiership season, but having won just six of their 37 games, they have come up short when it mattered.

Boyle, however, intends to go down all guns blazing - if it does indeed happen.

"We are in a corner and the only way we can get ourselves out of it is to put on a big performance," said the Belfast-based fire fighter. "If we do that, we must hope Warrenpoint Town do us a favour against Ards.

"Football is a funny game - anything can happen. If we can put in a big performance and it doesn't work out, then at least it will give something back to the fans who have stuck by us all season.

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"They travelled in their usual big numbers to Institute on Tuesday night."

It was that agonising 2-1 defeat at the Brandywell that plunged City to what looks to be the point of no return.

Boyle said: "Players are now playing for their future at the club. It's now up to us - the shackles really must come off now.

"If we get a result, it has to be a big result - we really have to go for it.

"We are capable of scoring goals and Warrenpoint are capable of scoring goals.

"I know a lot of people at the club (Warrenpoint) and have an affiliation with them having played there.

"I know Stevie (McDonnell) was down after we beat them recently. Since then, he's had them training hard and their results have improved greatly. I know they'll approach the game in a professional manner.

"Some of those boys are also playing for their future, so I don't think Warrenpoint will be in a frame of mind to let Ards walk over the top of them.

"I suppose there is a good chance of them doing us a favour, so we must make sure that we take care of our own business."

If City do plunge through the trap door, Boyle reckons the club now has an infrastructure on and off the pitch that would be a platform for a quick return.

"It's been disappointing the way it has panned out," he added. "You could maybe use the excuse of bad luck or things going against us, but over the course of the season we haven't been good enough, the league table doesn't lie.

"The only ones who can take the blame for it are the players. The management team have done all they can, the supporters have come out to back us, so it's a shame for them we haven't been able to deliver on a more consistent basis.

"Hopefully we can sign off with a good performance. We must give everyone connected with the club a day to remember.

"Hopefully things can go for us. If they don't, the club is in a sound position. In the worst possible scenario, the club can bounce back.

"It's been our first year in the Premiership and we've learned a heck of a lot, we've all become better players from the experience."

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