Belfast Telegraph

Town won't pay any attention to the fight to avoid drop: McDonnell

Staying focused: Stephen McDonnell
Staying focused: Stephen McDonnell

By Steven Beacom

Warrenpoint Town boss Stephen McDonnell will only be thinking about his own team's display and not the part they could play in the relegation battle tomorrow.

The Milltown men host Ards knowing that the result could have a huge impact on who takes the automatic drop from the Danske Bank Premiership and who ends up in a play-off against Championship teams Carrick Rangers or Portadown.

Ards have shown bottle in their previous two matches versus Institute and Dungannon Swifts to carve out important victories, moving them three points clear of bottom club Newry.

Crucially, Warren Feeney's side also have a superior goal difference by four.

Feeney will be well aware that a draw will be enough to finish 11th and earn a play-off regardless of how Newry do against Dungannon at the Showgrounds.

For McDonnell, the relegation battle will play itself out. Currently 10th, Warrenpoint need to beat Ards and hope that neighbours Newry overcome Dungannon to end up in ninth.

Throw in an Irish Cup semi-final, Mid-Ulster Cup final and some impressive league successes and this has been a season to remember for 27-year-old McDonnell and his men.

He was fuming to be sent off late on in Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Glentoran but is now focusing on the Ards game.

"I know the match with Ards could have a bearing on the relegation fight but we will concentrate on ourselves," said McDonnell.

"We have had a season with a lot of highs and some really bad lows so we will want to finish it with a win.

"I was frustrated with our performances in the league earlier this month but we showed real character to come back and win against Dungannon, and I felt we deserved more in the Glentoran match so I've been pleased with how the boys have responded," said McDonnell.

"We have good players at the club and as the manager I want to see us improve and move forward next season."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph