Belfast Telegraph

Stephen McDonnell: we can take heart after efforts against United

 

Encouraged: Warrenpoint boss Stephen McDonnell
Encouraged: Warrenpoint boss Stephen McDonnell

By Steven Beacom

Warrenpoint Town may have conceded four goals on their last league outing but ahead of today's trip to Glentoran, manager Stephen McDonnell insists his players should be encouraged by their efforts against Ballymena.

In a thrilling contest David Jeffrey's table-toppers defeated Warrenpoint 4-2 at Milltown but while the scoreline was negative, McDonnell took positives away from his side's performance.

"I felt we put it up to the best team in the league right now and out footballed them at times but unfortunately Ballymena were more lethal than us," said McDonnell.

"We're not going for league titles. That's the reality of the club. That's where we are at so we have to be encouraged by the performance because Ballymena are championship contenders."

In midweek Town reached the Mid-Ulster Cup final against Glenavon after beating Portadown 3-0 courtesy of goals from Francis McCaffrey (2) and Philip Donnelly so will travel to the Oval with confidence.

Earlier in the season defender Danny Wallace was red carded against the Glens but McDonnell's men fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 and could have won late on.

Should Warrenpoint win they will move on to the same number of points as Ronnie McFall's seventh placed team. What will be fascinating is the system deployed by the Town boss given he played a 3-3-1-3 formation in the Ballymena defeat.

"We did something completely different to create opportunities but they took their chances better and some of our defending wasn't what it has been lately," said McDonnell.

"We'll go to Glentoran and have our own ideas and try to implement our plans.

"We were down to 10 against Glentoran the last time and it ended in a draw when we felt we could have won.

"Of course this will be a different day and a different game. We know it is a real scrap at the bottom but we can't get bogged down with other teams. We just have to focus on ourselves."

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