Belfast Telegraph

Barry Gray points to positives in the fight for survival

By Adrian Rutherford

Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray claims tonight's basement scrap against Carrick Rangers will not decide the relegation battle as the bottom two in the Danske Bank Premiership meet in a crucial clash at Seaview.

With games running out, it is a fixture neither side can afford to lose, however, Gray has tried to play down the importance of the match, insisting there is still a long way to go in the race for survival.

"It's not going to be the end of it. If we win it, it's good, and if we don't win it, it's not so good, but we're not going to be celebrating staying in the league after Friday night," said Gray.

"Everyone knows that inside the changing room, it's not the last straw by any means."

Having looked doomed before Christmas, a recent run of seven games unbeaten has fuelled hopes of a great escape for the County Down side, but those hopes suffered a blow against fellow strugglers Dungannon on Monday night.

Despite dominating the game, they crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Stangmore Park - their first Premiership loss since mid-December. Gray is keen for his side not to dwell on the setback.

"We had said to the players that one of those games was coming," he added.

"Against Dungannon we had six or seven decent chances, but it's gone now.

"Did we think we would go unbeaten to the end of the season, winning every game? No. The players are disappointed, but we'll see how they react."

Carrick have won just two of their last 18 league games. Last Thursday they twice lost a lead to draw 2-2 against Dungannon.

Boss Gary Haveron said: "It was disappointing to come away with a draw having been so close to three points."

Belfast Telegraph


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