Belfast Telegraph

Warrenpoint are facing testing schedule, warns Stephen McDonnell

Fears: Stephen McDonnell
Fears: Stephen McDonnell

By Steven Beacom

Warrenpoint boss Stephen McDonnell admits his team face a busy and testing period this week in their aims to make this the best season ever for the club.

First up today is a home league fixture with Glentoran, then on Monday they host Queen's University in the last 16 of the Irish Cup before going to Dungannon Swifts in the Danske Bank Premiership on Friday.

Having lost their opening six league games and being viewed by many then as relegation certs McDonnell now has the Milltown men challenging for an unlikely seventh place in the table.

Institute are currently in seventh but with the loss of manager Paddy McLaughlin to Cliftonville and top scorer Michael McCrudden saying he won't play for the club again after signing a pre-contract agreement with Derry City, there is hope amongst those below them that their end to the campaign won't be anywhere near as successful as their start to it.

The Glens are in eighth, ahead of Warrenpoint on goal difference with Dungannon a point behind.

In the middle of the league fixtures, Town will be expected to overcome Queen's in the re-arranged Irish Cup tie with Amateur League team Larne Tech Old Boys waiting in the quarter-finals.

"After last weekend's postponed game we now have to be ready for three games in six days," said McDonnell.

"It is going to be a test for our squad and the players starting with Glentoran. It will be a competitive game just like the last time they came to our ground."

That was in September when the sides drew 1-1 with the Glens taking the lead through John Herron before Ciaran O'Connor levelled late on despite the home team playing with 10 men due to Danny Wallace's red card.

Warrenpoint were the better team in the closing stages and should have won even with their numerical disadvantage.

Glentoran are a stronger unit now and new boss Gary Smyth, who has picked up seven points out of 12 since taking over, will feel they have qualities to deliver a positive result.

Belfast Telegraph

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