Warrenpoint boss Barry Gray receives January Manager of the Month award

Warrenpoint boss Barry Gray receives his award from Laure James of the NIFWA
Warrenpoint boss Barry Gray receives his award from Laure James of the NIFWA

Barry Gray hopes Warrenpoint Town can continue taking “small steps” towards Danske Bank Premiership safety this season.

Warrenpoint continued their impressive unbeaten streak in the league during January – a run that has earned Gray the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Association Manager of the Month award.

The Milltown club began the month with a draw against Cliftonville, before victories against Coleraine, Portadown and Glentoran boosted their survival chances.

They remain rooted to the bottom of the table, but Gray is confident they can continue heading in the right direction.

“I have always been confident and believed in my players – hopefully they are starting to believe,” Gray said.

“The key thing is that they see the opportunity to close the gap on the teams above us. We are taking small steps, and when you start celebrating victories or results, it comes back to bite you. At the end of the day we are still bottom of the table.

“We have to try and replicate the month of January in February.”

That’s the challenge to the players.”

Gray picked up his first Manager of the Month gong following Warrenpoint’s stellar month of January.

“It is a great privilege, and a first for Warrenpoint and for me as manager,” he added.

“It is a great honour, but it is something we can’t dwell on. It is nice recognition, but this is for the players who have worked hard over December and January. Fair play to them.

“People will say the turning point was when we started to win, but it started before that and when performance levels started to improve.”