Ballinamallard see big guns Linfield visit Ferney Park on Saturday. Both will be looking to bounce back from defeats.
Manager Whitey Anderson has always said that Linfield is one of the biggest fixtures for any club on the Premier League calendar.
But they too are going through a rough period, by their standards. They lost at home on Saturday to Glenavon and new manager Warren Feeney will be keen to put things right as quickly as possible.
Anderson too will be looking for his boys to bounce back in front of a home crowd.
“Linfield have high expectations, but so do we. If we can re-create the way we played against Ballymena two weeks ago and Institute in the first half then we will be in with a great chance.
Anderson pointed out that even in the 3-0 defeat to the Ports on Saturday there were good performances around the park.
He described Stuart Hutchinson as the ‘best player on the pitch’ and David Kee, Johnny Lafferty and John Currie had excellent games.
“We take a lot of good performances from last week’s game, but we need even more,” he stressed.
“I know they are all hurting and they will be getting themselves up for the game against Linfield. But the only way to stop that kind of hurting is to put in a real performance, really show what we are about and what we really can do,” said Anderson.
“We will have to have the same hunger and desire if we are to overcome Linfield. We need to match the in every department, every inch of the park. We must take that work ethos and make it work for 90 minutes. We must do that against Linfield right from the first whistle to the end.”
Anderson went on, “we must cut out those elementary mistakes because in this league they are seriously punished. We can’t afford those errors.”
“There are a lot of strong players in this squad, strong mentally and they must be better than they have done. They must use that strength to guide us through this,” said Anderson.
Cathal Beacom missed Saturday’s game after an injury in training, but may be fit again for Saturday, but Leon Carters, who had to come off against Portadown, could be doubtful.
Ballinamallard and Coleraine have conceded most goals in the Premier League so far this season with the Mallards conceding six in their last two. A third of the goals they have shipped this season have come on the last two Saturdays.
At the other end Linfield have scored only eight goals while the Mallards have found the net 10 times.
Anderson sees the game against Linfield as an opportunity though.
“We can only concentrate on ourselves and the players know they have to put in a performance,” he said.
“We’re at home and it’s the perfect place to turn the corner. The players don’t feel sorry for themselves. They know they are all in it together.
They have to get some consistency into their games and hopefully we can bring that on Saturday.”
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