Belfast Telegraph

We've got to build on first victory and display our mettle: McDonnell


Positive outlook: Stephen McDonnell is retaining belief in Warrenpoint
Positive outlook: Stephen McDonnell is retaining belief in Warrenpoint

By Steven Beacom

Warrenpoint manager Stephen McDonnell wants his side to build on winning their first league game of the season last weekend in such dramatic fashion.

Town travel to unbeaten Coleraine today, and while McDonnell has great respect for the Bannsiders and Oran Kearney, he feels the Milltown men can enter the fixture with confidence following their 4-3 success against Dungannon Swifts.

Last term Warrenpoint lost their first six league games before earning a stunning late win at home to Cliftonville.

They then went on to enjoy their best season ever in the top flight easing to safety from relegation and reaching the Irish Cup semi-finals.

How McDonnell's young side would love a similar scenario after that incredible injury time victory versus Dungannon Swifts when Town changed their style to go more direct.

"We reflected ahead of the Dungannon game about our style of play. We felt we would do something we don't normally believe in and we were slightly more direct," said McDonnell.

"We felt in the previous eight games that every time we went behind it had been energy sapping for the boys. What was so encouraging against Dungannon was that they turned round a two goal deficit to go 3-2 up and then found that little bit of magic at 3-3.

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"We had played a 5-4-1 and flipped into a 4-4-2 and got Alan O'Sullivan up alongside Ciaran O'Connor and it paid off. Ciaran was a battering ram and it has given me something to think about. Philip Donnelly was on the bench and he didn't even get on and he has been tremendous for me since I've been in charge.

"In a situation where you are rock bottom and getting battered by everyone to win like that against a side who has done really well this season showed great character.

"Now we meet Coleraine, who are a very strong team and in Oran Kearney have an excellent manager so we know it will be tough but we can go into the game with more confidence."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph