Tomorrow sees our seventh game of the Sports Direct Premiership when we travel to Newry to play ninth placed City.
While Newry have enjoyed some success on their travels to date this season, results at the Showgrounds have been less positive; 3 games played seeing 3 defeats with 10 goals conceded and 0 scored.
Glentoran picked up victories in both games in Newry last season. On the visit last October, Conor McMenamin’s first half effort led to a 1-0 win at a time when the Glens were flying high at the top of the table. In contrast, by the time the sides met again in January, Rodney McAree was overseeing his first game in charge and a goal by new signing Niall McGinn and a goal in each half for Jay Donnelly secured a 3-1 win that halted a run of 5 successive league defeats.
With long serving manager Darren Mullen stepping down at the end of last season, his former assistant Gary Boyle has taken over and made a number of changes to the squad as they hope to build upon a first season back in the Premiership that ended in comfortable survival. Although talented midfielder James Teelan departed for Crusaders, Boyle was able to bring in signings that include experienced duo Barney McKeown and Adam Salley from relegated Portadown, ex Warrenpoint and Cliftonville midfielder Liam Bagnall and goalkeeper Tom Murphy from Crusaders.
Warren Feeney: “I was very pleased with 2 wins this week against 2 of the better teams in the league. Against Cliftonville it was a well fought game and it took something very special from Niall to win it for us. But overall I’m happy we deserved the win.
Against Crusaders in the Shield, they put out a much more experienced side than we did, but it’s important that our young players get time against good quality, mature opposition to show us and themselves how much they can achieve. They all did exceptionally well and didn’t look out of place. We were definitely worth the draw and the boys showed great confidence in their penalty taking and Ollie was outstanding with his saves that helped win us the match.
On the player front it was a real boost to have Rhys available for the second half v Cliftonville. His contribution to the win was immense. Also great to see Sean Murray in the squad on Tuesday night at Seaview. Sean’s obviously been out a lot longer so we’ll need to manage his return in the best way for Sean. but we’re all very happy with his recovery so far and how he’s done in training.
We’re going to Newry where I have a lot of respect for the manager and coaching staff. They’ve also brought in good players with plenty of senior experience. I’ve watched their games so far and some of the scorelines haven’t reflected their strong performances. So we’re expecting another tough, tough game, But we’re in good form and will have a big crowd behind us so I’m looking forward to the game and hopefully a good performance and result.”
Remaining tickets for this game can be purchased from https://embed.futureticketing.ie/c/newry-city/away-fans/
Graphic by Beth Stafford