PREMIERSHIP: Ballinamallard hoping to make home advantage count against Dungannon

Ballinamallard United boss Harry McConkey
Ballinamallard United boss Harry McConkey

Harry McConkey is hoping for some home help as he continues his Ballinamallard United rescue mission.

Victory last weekend against Warrenpoint Town left McConkey with one defeat in four fixtures as interim boss and a welcome win which pushed United just two points behind Carrick Rangers.

The basement-based Ballinamallard players can now enter the closing weeks of the campaign with renewed optimism and McConkey wants the second of three successive Ferney Park fixtures to provide an added edge.

“It was initially about turning around the mindset and getting that positive approach back in the squad, which the performances show is working,” said McConkey. “Now we want to build on that start as the players have done really, really well.

“Something which did not seem possible a few weeks ago now suddenly seems possible, so we need to feed off that feeling.

“Playing at home should be something to embrace, not fear, as there is a familiarity, even with something as simple as the pre-match routine and travel plans.

“We want to go out and try to dictate the game at home and you can see from the supporters how the excitement has been building.”

Dungannon Swifts hit the road bolstered by news last weekend of Rodney McAree’s decision to pen a fresh contract.

The Swifts may not have the same need for points compared to Ballinamallard but McAree is quick to point out that internal drive should always be present irrespective of the league table.

“I told the players after noon last weekend about my contract so the fresh era started with that game against Carrick,” said McAree. “Now we want to finish the season by using it towards building for the future.

“I am looking to see something from the players that will confirm who wants to be part of our future together at this club.

“It is not about the high stakes but about personal pride and a desire to get the rewards for the hard work put in over training.”