Ballinamallard United v Glentoran
Saturday 13th January 2018, 3.00pm.
On Saturday we make our second visit of the season to Ferney Park, just a month after our return match with Ballinamallard was postponed. On our visit to Ferney Park for the league opener we won 2-1 due to a double from Curtis Allen. Nothing less than three points will suffice this time with Ballymena United – currently one point ahead of us in sixth place – at home to Carrick Rangers.
Ballinamallard come into the game on the back of a rare win this season after progressing in the Irish Cup last Saturday. With 15 fixtures remaining in the Danske Bank Premiership the Mallards need more wins to put points on the board if they are to survive relegation. Currently they are rooted to the bottom of the table, 5 points adrift of Carrick Rangers in the play-off place and 9 points from safety. Reeling in Carrick and giving themselves at least a play-off option is their immediate priority and so they will have to go all out for wins and treat every game as a cup final. Manager Gavin Dykes has brought in 6 players including former Glens striker Stephen O’Flynn for his second spell at Ferney, and a return too on loan from Coleraine for midfielder David Kee who also had a spell at Linfield.
Manager Gary Haveron said: “We’ll not have Calum or Robbie this week. Calum hit the sole of his foot off a concrete pillar during the match at Lurgan. He has a slightly swollen ankle but he should be okay for next week. Likewise Robbie McDaid’s hamstring is loosening well but this match has come too early for him. Again he’ll be okay for next week.
Willie Garrett has had no side effects from his injury at Lurgan so he’ll start. We can play either Jonny or Dan Kelly beside him but Dan did really well up front at Lurgan and was fully involved in both our goals so I’ve a call to make there.
This week Dylan will be back after missing two games so he’ll be in. John McGuigan got a few minutes at Lurgan and he’s an exciting starting option for us in Ballinamallard. Corey has also fully recovered from the concussion he picked up at Dungannon. He had a great week at training and is raring to go as well. Those three are pivotal to how I want to take the squad forward with the energy, directness and intelligence they can bring to the team.
In terms of this transfer window we’re talking to a number of players we could bring in and there are others who can go on loan if the right opportunity comes up for them. But I’m only interested in bringing in starters who can strengthen the team immediately. I’m not going to just pad out the squad as that won’t help us in the long term”.