Ballinamallard United boss Whitey Anderson has labelled Friday night’s Danske Bank Premiership clash against relegation threatened Ards at Ferney Park (8pm) as a “six-pointer” for both teams.
The Mallards have been struggling to put points on the board, having only picked up two from a possible 27 from their last nine games which has seen them drop into the bottom two in the table.
Following last week’s drubbing by Linfield, Anderson is demanding an improvement and states it’s crucial his team reel in three points from a team buoyed by their victory over Glentoran last week.
“It is now probably the most important game of the season for us because if we win we put ourselves in a really good position to avoid relegation, if we don’t then we really are in a dog fight with Ards,” he said.
“Ards got a bit of an unexpected result against the Glens last week and they are fighting to stay up.
“Their manager will have them really pumped up for it. We are going to have to meet them head on.”
Anderson adds his boys can afford to feel sorry for themselves after that horrific experience at Windsor Park.
Goals from Philip Lowry (2), Matt Tipton, Andy Waterworth, Ivan Sproule and Ross Clarke condemned the Fermanagh men to a heavy defeat at the international stadium.
“It was a shocker and the boys know it,” added Anderson.
“It was just a bad day and while we don’t want to dwell on it, we have to take the lessons from the game.
“There are a lot of frustrations with the way the season has gone in this campaign. We have now set ourselves a target for the remainder of the season.
“We have to put it behind us and see what we can get out of the last nine games. We don’t want to be relying on anybody to save us from the drop and we’re confident that we can push up a couple of places in the league and maybe have a good cup run and just give ourselves something to play for.
“Character in the side is going to be key between now and the end of the season.
“My players proved they had character last season. Any time we had a set-back they bounced back the following week.
“Now we need to show that character again.”