Ards: Colin Nixon turns to Jonathan Smith ahead of Cliftonville trip

Ards boss Colin Nixon. Pic by Pacemaker.
Ards boss Colin Nixon. Pic by Pacemaker.

Ards have turned to Jonathan Smith in a bid to boost the scoring success of the Danske Bank Premiership’s bottom side.

No top-flight team has found the new on fewer occasions in the current league campaign than Colin Nixon’s men - with Smith arriving on loan until the end of the season from Linfield.

Cliftonville boss Barry Gray. Pic by INPHO.

Cliftonville boss Barry Gray. Pic by INPHO.

The 21-year-old forward has found senior minutes restricted with the Blues but Nixon will be hoping he can enhance Ards’ cutting edge in attack.

Nixon takes his side to tackle a Cliftonville club in the headlines this week for issues including the future of manager Barry Gray.

Reports this week indicated Gray would remain in charge despite a run of five consecutive defeats across league and cup.

“We have been doing what we always do and that is focus on ourselves and what we need to do,” said Nixon. “Whatever is happening at any other club is irrelevant, all we can be in control of is what we do.

“We had a very disappointing result and performance against Carrick Rangers in the Irish Cup last week.

“Unfortunately, that game summed up our season in many ways as missed chances cost us again.

“We missed a penalty and several other good chances on the day and that was the difference again.

“Our league form of late has been good, that’s why the performance last week was disappointing too.

“Maybe it will be a blessing in disguise though as we need to focus on the league.

“It’s vital we pick up as many points as possible in this second half of the season to secure our place in the Premiership.

“We need to get our heads down and work hard.”