Belfast Telegraph

Gamble to let striker Hughes leave Warrenpoint has paid off: Gray

By Stuart McKinley

Barry Gray has shrugged off suggestions that Warrenpoint Town's remarkable revival is all down to the new signings that arrived during January.

Instead, the Milltown manager claims that their impressive six-match unbeaten league run is a consequence of a gamble that paid off, but could just as easily have blown up in his face.

Most managers would do all in their power to cling on to their prized asset, but Gray isn't most managers.

Just before Christmas, he allowed striker Daniel Hughes to join Cliftonville and the two players he got on loan in exchange - Martin Murray and Jonny McMurray - have helped spark a run that has seen Point win their last three league games and take 12 points out of the last 15 as they battle to beat the drop.

That run has also landed Gray the first Manager of the Month award of his career and he believes the issue of which players are on the pitch is irrelevant and that he could see signs before Christmas that things were improving.

"It was probably the most difficult decision I've had to make as a manager because I have a very good personal relationship with Daniel, both as a manager and a club official," said Gray.

"It wasn't a decision that was taken lightly. It was something that was churned over and the problem was that we couldn't churn it over with anyone outside a very, very small and tight group of people because it then would have impacted on Daniel, who was still playing for us at that point.

"We were lucky enough to be able to get something that Daniel wanted, something that I wanted for him for football reasons and something that suited the club.

"Even now, with everything that has come attached to the players who have come in, all we can say is it's worked out for us.

"There's nothing to say that if we had kept him and maybe added one or two players that we wouldn't be in the same position, but there's no way we'll ever know that one way or another.

"As it stands at the minute it looks like a very good managerial decision, but in reality it could have went either way."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph