Ballinamallard United boss Whitey Anderson out to spoil the party for Linfield new boy Grant McCann

Grant McCann signed for Linfield on Wednesday
Grant McCann signed for Linfield on Wednesday

Ballinamallard United manager Whitey Anderson will make no apologies if his team turn into party poopers on Saturday.

Warren Feeney brings his Linfiield entourage to Ferney Park for a crucial Danske Bank Premiership clash, with new boy Grant McCann set to take centre stage.

The 34-year-old Northern Ireland international turned down many offers to stay in England after parting company with Peterborough United, preferring to join the club he supported as a boy.

And, following all the razzmatazz and trumpet blowing about his midweek arrival, Anderson intends take the fizz out of the Blues bubbly by pinching three points.

“There was a lot of media attention on McCann’s arrival and rightly so, because he is a great signing for any club – he’s a class act,” said Anderson.

“If he is in the squad, it could also have an impact on the attendance. Linfield always bring a good crowed with them at the best of times.

“It’s up to us to meet the challenge. Our home form has been good as we have taken points off Cliftonville and Crusaders at Ferney Park. Hopefully, the game goes ahead after a dreadful week weather-wise.”

Both teams need the points for different reasons.

The Blues were knocked off the top of the table last time out when Coleraine snatched an equaliser deep, deep into injury time, courtesy of the cultured boot of Neil McCafferty.

Alarmingly, the Mallards are only five points off bottom club Warrenpoint Town, with Dungannon Swifts and Institute sandwiched in between.

Anderson’s team lost their last league game, beaten by the new league leaders, Crusaders at Seaview.

“We are now dragged down into the relegation battle. In saying that, we are top of the bottom four,” added Anderson.

“It’s not where we want to be. The clubs below us are all battling for their lives. But I’ve told the players they are the only ones that can get us out of the current predicament.”

United will be deprived of the services of Johnny Lafferty, who was dismissed in last week’s Irish Cup tie against Dungannon Swifts and must sit out an automatic one game ban.

“That had a big impact in the outcome,” added Anderson. “We battle back well from being two goals down, but then lost Lafferty. It was all uphill after that.”

United have Mark Stafford back from suspension, while Davy Kee has fully recovered from a knee injury. On the down side, Liam McMenimin and Liam Martin are banned, while Anderson is sweating on injured defenders Colm McLaughlin and Chris Crilly.