The Matthew Tipton column.
The Matthew Tipton column.

Warrenpoint Town boss and former professional striker Matthew Tipton has signed up to provide a weekly column on his views of a debut season in Irish League management and playing career covering 10 clubs across three countries:

“The final whistle on Saturday could signal the end of months of hard work by everyone at Warrenpoint Town with a Championship title.

“Last weekend’s results - our win over Loughgall and the draw between Institute and Ballyclare Comrades - have left us in need of a single point from the final six league fixtures to finish as champions.

“We visit Ballyclare this weekend shaping up for a vital 90 minutes and the response so far in training has been excellent.

“We had a quick chat on Saturday after the Loughgall match and the message was how we must keep our focus.

“One point from six games cannot be seen by anyone as an opportunity not to keep up the high standards we have set across the season.

“Now it is about getting the job done in the right way and finishing the rest of the season in the right way.

“Over the past few weeks there have been signs of maybe nerves creeping in, with some games a grind towards the result.

“But there was a return to that sharpness in training with possibly the best session of our season on Tuesday.

“Nothing is finalised until we get that last point and even then we still have a series of challenges open to meet.

“We have an unbeaten run of 19 league games going into Saturday and want to make it 25.

“We have 62 points and could end on 80.

“We have scored 66 goals and look on 80 as a target.

“Our goal difference at present is 39 and 50 should be the aim.

“We now stand on eight clean sheets and a double-figure number should be the goal.

“It is not about trying to be disrespectful or arrogant enough to think everything will come easy.

“Instead it is important to keep setting targets, to keep working hard together and to keep pushing towards reaching an end goal.

“I was never close to winning a league title as a player and tell the squad how they must remember every moment of this season as it could be a special campaign in the career of everyone.

“There is a real buzz around the club given how close we are to that Championship title and you could see the weight lifting off the players after last week’s results.

“But it has to be continued and finished in the right way.”