Darren Mullen: ‘We don’t want a gap opening up’ says Newry boss going into Ards meeting

Newry City AFC manager Darren Mullen.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Newry City AFC manager Darren Mullen. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Newry City AFC and Ards clash this weekend in the Danske Bank Premiership with both sides desperate for points.

Colin Nixon’s Ards outfit lie 11th in the league table while Newry are one place below at the bottom of the pile - so it really is winner-takes-all.

Ards boss Colin Nixon. Pic by Pacemaker.

Ards boss Colin Nixon. Pic by Pacemaker.

Both sides play good football but they could do with finding a cutting edge from somewhere and quickly.

And Newry manager Darren Mullen is sure his players will come out all guns firing against their basement rivals.

“There shouldn’t be any more motivation needed than going and getting three points against a team in and around you where you can go above them,” he said. “So, if anybody needs any more incentive than that, then there’s something badly wrong.”

And Mullen says it is vitally important that his side pick up three points this weekend.

“It’s a game that we have to be winning because we don’t want a gap opening up at this stage,” he said. “But if we play like we did against Cliftonville I’ve every confidence we can go out and get a result.

“We went to Ards earlier in the season and were very poor in the first half down there, but better in the second half.

“After Monday’s defeat to Cliftonville we spoke to the players and told them not to get to down-hearted because Saturday is huge for us.

“If we can play like we did for large parts of the Reds match, cut out the silly mistakes at the back and just be more clinical then we’re in with a good shout.”

And Ards manager Nixon says his side will have to bounce back from the disappointment of losing to a last-minute winner to Ballymena United in the BetMcLean League Cup through the week,

“I was gutted for the players as we did well and played good football - but it is the same old story from us,” he said. “Week in, week out we are failing to score goals and it is starting to hurt us.

“I feel sorry for the players as we are doing everything right apart from winning games.

“Newry is a big game for us but we have got to start taking our chances.”