Colin Nixon asks for fighting spirit from his Ards side after Glenavon defeat

Colin Nixon
Colin Nixon

Ards manager Colin Nixon cut a frustrated figure as his side lost 2-0 to Glenavon in the Danske Bank Premiership at the weekend.

The result means Nixon’s men are still bottom of the league table standings after picking up just 14 points from their 28 matches this season.

Goals from Cameron Stewart and Conor McCloskey sealed the win for Glenavon but, to be fair to Ards, they were very much in the game and if not for a lack of a cutting edge or a bit of quality, Nixon’s men could have got something from the game.

But the former Glentoran defender was disappointed with the performance his side gave knowing they are very much in a relegation battle.

“We didn’t get our shots away and, listen, we have been the victims of our own downfall,” he said. “We haven’t been good enough and in the second half I felt sorry for anyone who came to watch Ards because in the second half we were very poor.

“We have been trying to tinker things about a bit but Damien McNulty had been sick all week so this is the first time we have met him so we could not embed him into the way we play.

“But today we didn’t do the things we had worked on all week but we will have to move on quickly and I am massively disappointed with the way we played today.”

Ards face Institute and Newry in their next two league fixtures and Nixon admits those are huge games for his side.

“The next game is vital for us, no matter what comes after that,” he said. “We need to get three points and that is the bottom line.

“The players know that, I know that. We all know that.

“I think they know that because they looked a wee bit edgy today and it is tough when you are at the bottom.

“I also thought when Glenavon’s first goal went in the heads dropped too easy if I am being slightly critical.

“We are running out of time and we are running out of games and if we continue to play like that, there is only one place we can be.

“We can’t expect to win football games if we play the way we did in the second half.

“If we don’t get our act together with 10 games to go we will be in trouble.”

And Nixon rebuffed a reporter when he stated that Glenavon had fielded a weakened team before their Irish Cup clash against Dungannon Swifts tonight.

“It’s a load of nonsense when you are talking about weakening a team,” he said. “They have a stronger squad than we have.

“If you put the two teams on paper and look at the size of the budgets there is only one winner.

“I am not buying into that.

“We were poor and did not look like a team that is fighting for our lives.”

And Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton was a relieved man after his side won their first league game since December 14.

“We are delighted but there are so many of our players who cannot play three games in two days at the minute,” he said. “There were lots of changes today with players playing out of position and people who haven’t played for a long time.

“But I have to commend the boys.

“They were superb from start to finish and I thought their attitude, desire and commitment was fantastic.

“We bossed the game.”

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Marron (Jameson, 75), Daniels, Larmour, McCloskey (Barr,78), Norton, Murray, Singleton, Stewart (Jenkins, 72), Wearen, Hamilton.

Subs (not used): Taylor, Hunter, Taylor, Sharkey.

ARDS: Johnston, Byers, Taylor, D.McAllister, J.Kelly (M.Kelly, 66), Tommons, Nelson, Bennett, Henderson (McLellan, 45), McCawl (Cherry, 59), McNulty.

Subs (not used): Mooney, E.McAllister, McClean, McAleenan.

Referee: Ian McNabb.