Tobermore United have two massive games over the next 10 days that will go a long way to deciding their fate in this season’s league.
First up for Jim Scott’s side is a difficult trip to league leader’s Ards before hosting fifth placed H&W Welders at Fortwilliam Park.
Tobermore manager Scott has presided over a dramatic turnaround in his side’s fortunes after he took over from from Oliver McAuley.
When Scott took the reigns at Fortwilliam Park, Tobermore had one point from eight games and they now have 17 from 17 games with the same squad of players.
The team are still a long way from safety however and with only two games at home out of the seven remaining: Welders on March 2 and Limavady on March 9 - it could be a tough run in.
Scott has nothing but praise for his players: “I came in as temporary manager and things were looking pretty bleak, but we seem to have turned a corner. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of work to do, but we have steadied the ship.
“I think the biggest change has been in attitude of the players. They have a bit of self-belief and a willingness to have a go at teams.
“That all comes from getting some important points on the board before Christmas. They’ve shown faith in me and Bouncy (Adrian Whiteside, assistant coach), fitness has improved and the disillusionment has dried up.
“Perhaps previously we were playing a bit too deep and that can make it difficult to link-up between the defence, midfield and forwards. We’ve changed that now and it has helped get points on the board.”
This weekend’s opponents Ards lost last time out to Warrenpoint and Scott’s not sure if that will be a help or a hinderance to his side:
“Ards losing to Warrenpoint; I just don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing, whether it will make them nervous or more determined. What I do know is that they are a very good team all round and we will have to keep disciplined when we play them.”
Ryan Doherty (knee) and Dean Stewart (ribs) are both missing as are Sean Heneghan and Danny Gardner through suspension so a number of players will be drafted in from the reserves.
“What was always going to be a tough game has been made even more difficult by loosing so many players,” said Scott.
“But if everyone plays to their full potential and we get the rub of the green then a result isn’t out of the question.”
“I put faith in younger players already this year and I don’t think of it as a handicap in any sense.
Next week’s opponent H&W Welders currently lie one point ahead of Tobermore with the the Fortwilliam Park side just 5 points above Larne who are currently in the relegation playoff position.
Tobermore though have played 4 games more than the east Antrim side and need a result next weekend against H&W Welders with games running out.