Belfast Telegraph

Warrenpoint players must end scandalous run to save my job, admits McDonnell

 

Stephen McDonnell
Stephen McDonnell

By Steven Beacom

Warrenpoint Town manager Stephen McDonnell has admitted he could be out of a job soon if results continue the way they have started this season.

The Milltown men are rooted to the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership having lost four games out of four, conceding 17 goals in the process.

They did score their first goal of the campaign with a late Alan O'Sullivan penalty against Cliftonville but, by then, the Reds had netted five times with Ruaidhri Donnelly (2), Conor McMenamin, Liam Bagnall and Joe Gormley on target for the impressive visitors.

The Town boss blasted: "Not good enough again. Something has to change. The players aren't giving me 100%. They are being lazy and that has come out in the performances. We have invested in two conditioning coaches who have the players all pretty lean but they are not working hard enough.

"I've had a go at them. The players now have a decision to make.

"The way we are going, the board aren't going to put up with these results and I'll not be in a job so it's over to the players to work harder for the management team or they could find somebody else coming in and they mightn't like that somebody else and they'll be wishing they could rewind the clock."

Last season, Warrenpoint lost their opening six league games and went on to have a fine campaign but it's clear McDonnell is hugely concerned from what he is seeing from his team so far.

"This is freefall," he added. "It's 17 goals in four games. It's scandalous.

"I've told the players I'm fed up. We have ideas and know what we want to do and the players know that and it's up to them to work hard enough. If they don't, I'll hand my notice in and walk away.

"As far as I'm concerned, three players played against Cliftonville - Eamon Scannell, Matty Lynch and Philip Donnelly.

"After that, the rest were absolute garbage. They are strong words but I've told the players the same. I've told the players I'm not protecting them. Right now they are too soft.

"We've put together a group of players that we believe in and I believe in but, at the moment, they are not coming up with the goods and, unfortunately, the hammer has to land on someone and that's going to be me if we don't improve."

In contrast, Reds boss Paddy McLaughlin had few complaints.

"I was frustrated we didn't score more than once in the first half but we were clinical after the break and produced an excellent performance," he said

"We need to maintain those levels because it is such a tough league this season."

WARRENPOINT: Moran, White (Young, 56 mins), Smith (Griffin, 51 mins), McVeigh, O'Sullivan, Doyle, Lynch, Scannell, C O'Connor, Wallace, Donnelly. Unused subs: Turker, Bennett, Reilly, J O'Connor, Watters.

CLIFTONVILLE: Brush, McDermott (Foster, 72 mins), Ives, Breen, Harney, R Curran, R Donnelly, Bagnall, Doherty, Gormley (Wilson, 71 mins), McMenamin (Maguire, 61 mins). Unused subs: Dunne, C Curran, A Donnelly, Gorman.

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)

Man of the match: Ruaidhri Donnelly

Match Rating: 7/10

Warrenpoint Town1

Cliftonville5

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