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Barry Gray and Warrenpoint are looking to climb the Premiership table after Mid-Ulster Cup success


Barry Gray. Credit: INPHO/Declan Roughan

Barry Gray. Credit: INPHO/Declan Roughan

©INPHO/Declan Roughan

Barry Gray. Credit: INPHO/Declan Roughan

Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray is looking up after his team’s midweek success in the Mid-Ulster Cup.

Bottom of the Premiership and with just two league wins all season, Town defeated Championship side Annagh United 4-2 in an entertaining decider at Holm Park on Tuesday and now have a burning desire to add vital league points to their prize in the knockout competition when they travel to Ballymena United today.

Gray’s men are five points behind Portadown and 11 adrift of Dungannon who are in 10th.

The two teams immediately above them meet this afternoon at Stangmore Park which means Warrenpoint can close the gap on one or both if they deliver victory at the Showgrounds, though Gray is honest enough to admit just the Ports are in his sights.

“The reality for us is that we are concentrating on getting our next win in the league,” said Gray.

“Last weekend’s results didn’t go our way with Dungannon winning at Larne and Portadown drawing against Coleraine which increased the gap to us but before then we knew we needed two victories to jump above Portadown and that is still the case.

“At this moment Dungannon are off our radar. That’s not being negative in any way. We just need to get off the bottom of the table and we have a game in hand which could be useful for us.

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“We aren’t going to be downbeat. The only way out the other side is to work harder than you did the week before and be patient and take our knocks, and we have taken many this season, and get back up and go again.”

In the Mid-Ulster Cup final, veteran goalkeeper Andy Coleman was selected for Town. Against Crusaders last weekend in a 1-0 defeat, 17-year-old Stephen McMullan made an impressive debut with regular No.1 Conor Mitchell out for the long-term.

It will be an interesting call for Gray to make this afternoon between the sticks.

“Stephen was outstanding last weekend. He’s a kid but he was an outstanding kid against Crusaders and deserved the credit he received. It puts us in a situation where we have a call to make going forward,” added Gray.

Meanwhile, Gray has confirmed that his assistant Gavin Dykes has left Milltown, wishing him well for the future.

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