Boss Stephen McDonnell looking to kick on from victory in derby encounter against Newry

Warrenpoint Town players celebrate their win over Cliftonville last weekend
Warrenpoint Town players celebrate their win over Cliftonville last weekend

Warrenpoint Town manager Stephen McDonnell wants his side to build on last weekend’s win against Cliftonville when they travel to Newry City in the Danske Bank Premiership on Friday night.

Warrenpoint were losing 1-0 to the Reds last Saturday when two goals in the 94th and 95th minute sealed the win for McDonnell’s men.

The victory lifted them off the bottom of the table and the Warrenpoint boss wants to keep heading in the right direction after a rocky start to their league campaign.

“It’s a local derby which is fantastic and I am looking forward to it. We approach every game to win it and the Newry game is no different.

“It will be an exciting game because it is the first time the two teams have clashed in the Premiership.

“There should be a good crowd and it was the talk of the town even before we took Cliftonville on and that tells you how big the game is going to be.

“We have set a standard and if we maintain that standard we will have no problem.

And McDonnell says he still had faith last weekend when Cliftonville took the lead against his side.

“I had a funny feeling last weekend and I even asked my coach how long is left here?

“And I just knew we would get them because of the quality balls we were playing from left to right and right to left.

“We were stretching Cliftonville and it was just the final ball that was stopping us from scoring.

“But I knew we would get one opportunity to get a goal to get a draw - but we went on and got the three points.

And Newry manager Darren Mullen took positives out of last weekend’s match against Crusaders ahead of Warrenpoint’s visit to The Showgrounds tonight.

“There are positives to take out of it and we need to pick ourselves up pretty quickly.

“We have two home games in a week and that’s football for you. It gives you a good chance to redeem yourself pretty quickly,” Mullen felt.

“This week I was listening to a couple of football shows and people were fearful for Newry coming here this week and that it could have been four or five.

“We’ve acquitted ourselves really well here today. Offensively, yeah there is plenty to work on because we didn’t create enough, especially in the second half.

“But, when you look back at this game, I thought the players worked extremely hard and that’s all I’m asking for as a manager - to work as hard as they do. We didn’t work hard enough against Ards and we paid the price for it, but they worked hard last week against Glentoran and they’ve worked extremely hard against Crusaders.

“They were in the dressing room dead on their feet and obviously deflated, but we’ll be a better team for that experience.”

And he thought the performance against Crusaders was solid/.

“I don’t like getting beaten and it still hurts as much as the Glentoran one but, when the dust settles, we’ve acquitted ourselves extremely well against the league champions. If we can keep our shape like that and be better in the final third, then we’ll be a better team for it,” he feels.

“The second half it was coming back too easily and you need your midfield to keep the ball and build the play up. We didn’t do that and it was coming back too easily.

“That’s something that we’re going to have to work on.”