Belfast Telegraph

Town just can't afford to take eye off the ball, says McDonnell


Clear aim: Stephen McDonnell is remaining focused
Clear aim: Stephen McDonnell is remaining focused

By Steven Beacom

Warrenpoint Town manager Stephen McDonnell insists that his players won't be distracted by two upcoming Cup clashes when they take on Glentoran in the league tonight.

Earlier this month the Glens won 5-0 at Milltown when the home side had two men red-carded, starting off a run of three defeats in a row for Warrenpoint in the Danske Bank Premiership.

In that period, McDonnell's men reached the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup. On Saturday, they host Amateur League outfit Larne Tech Old Boys before playing Glenavon in the Mid-Ulster Cup final next Tuesday.

McDonnell declares, though, that the only fixture on his mind is at The Oval this evening.

"They spanked us 5-0 last time so we have to try and win," said the Town boss. "We have lost three league games in a row so we need something. The last thing we want is another defeat going into the next two Cup games.

"We'll be going as strong as we can and won't have an eye on future games because we need to start turning the corner."

Goalkeeper Jared Thompson, on loan from Chelsea, is set to be out with a back twinge meaning Berraat Turker, who performed well in the weekend 2-0 home loss to Cliftonville, will continue for Warrenpoint. Left-back Eamon Scannell is also likely to be out injured along with influential striker Alan O'Sullivan.

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"Philip Donnelly is back from suspension and we have Mark Griffin and Lee Duffy up front so we'll not panic," said McDonnell.

"Defensively we've been poor, but against Cliftonville the lads showed organisation, aggression, hard work and plenty of communication. I was pleased with that, but that is a minimum requirement. If they can't do that they shouldn't be playing football!"

Glentoran will be aiming to bounce back after two successive league reverses. Victory would see them move into eighth, one point behind Institute.

Belfast Telegraph


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