Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes was a much happier man after he watched his side record their first league win of the season with a deserved 2-0 win over Carrick Rangers on Saturday at Ferney Park.
Dykes admits that he had to think long and hard about staying in post following the defeat to Warrenpoint Town the previous week but having taken a short break and talked to people he trusts in the game he is now focused on getting the Mallards away from the bottom of the Premiership table.
“I thought very hard about it,” he said. 
“If it wasn’t a club that I have great time for and the people that are there, I would have left because I just wasn’t sure if I could turn it around. 
“However, after speaking to a few people in the game and to some of the staff and trusting in the people who advise me all the time I’m fully focused now and committed to try and keep us in the division,” he stated.
And he is convinced that they will be able to succeed in that target of securing their Premiership status.
“I always believed in the players because I brought them all here, it was myself I was doubting. 
“I think there is a great squad of players here and on Saturday I think they showed people that there is quality and determination about them. I thought they were very good.
“It is now all about going out and trying to build momentum and hopefully we can do it. I’m convinced that we can, I think we can now go out and have a go at teams,” he said.
There was no doubt though that there was relief at the final whistle on Saturday and Dykes is keen to build on the performance and the result.
“It was a relief for everybody just to get that monkey off the back of getting a win. If we want to get out of trouble though we have to try and do that every week,” he added. 
On Saturday, the Mallards were in control throughout with Matty Smyth heading them in front after six minutes while Jonathan Leddy doubled the advantage before half time and Dykes seems to have found a formation with three at the back that best suits the personnel he has available. And he was also able to get Richard Clarke, Stuart Hutchinson and Jonathan Leddy into a midfield three for the first time.
“I’ve been trying to get those three in there for a while but we hadn’t been able to because of injuries. I thought they were very good on Saturday. I thought Clarke was superb, not just passing the ball but his tackling which he is not known for, Hutchy was excellent and I think Leddy is a hell of a player. He will only get better and better,” he added.
A tough run of games though now awaits for Ballinamallard with Crusaders away on Friday night followed by league leaders Coleraine away on Tuesday and then a home clash with Linfield the next Saturday.
“It is a tough week but that’s the way the fixtures have fallen,” said Dykes. “We haven’t had much joy against Crusaders but we’ll go there looking for a result and then we will look forward to Coleraine game. They are top of the table so let’s go and test ourselves against them and we have nothing to lose and then we’ve Linfield. Listen, it is three tough games but if we can pick up something it will be a bonus for us.
Dykes is also hoping to have a stronger hand to select from over the next few weeks with Niall Owens and captain James McKenna set to return although loan signing Aaron Canning is no longer with the club.
“Niall Owens is maybe a week away and may be available for Coleraine although we won’t be rushing him while James has been in full contact in training so hopefully a few weeks and he will be back and he will give us a huge lift,” said the Mallards boss.