The big games keep coming for Ballinamallard United with a trip to Warrenpoint Town this Saturday a chance for Gavin Dykes’ side to cut the gap on those above them in the table.
The Mallards are currently four points behind second from bottom Carrick Rangers and seven adrift of Warrenpoint in the battle at the bottom of the table but Dykes says that they will go into the game in a confident frame of mind.
The Mallards have just the one defeat in their last four games, that coming against leaders Crusaders, and having strengthened their squad significantly this month they produced what was probably their best performance of the season last Saturday although they were denied all three points by an injury time Glentoran goal as the game finished 2-2.
 “I’ve said for a long time that we just needed to get to the transfer window and get a few bodies in and we’ve done that and the players who have come in have improved things for us.
“We have more pace in the squad and I felt we were a threat going forward against Glentoran so if we can keep doing that and stay tight at the back I would be confident that we can get something from this Saturday’s game.
“We will go to Warrenpoint and try and win a football match and that’s what we have to do every week between now and the end of the season. 
“We have to target every game for three points. It’s a big game for us but the boys are full of confidence at the moment, we would be optimistic and training has been good for us. 
“I’ve no doubt that if we get that effort and commitment and play like we did against Glentoran then we will do well. We had a very tough 2017 but new faces bring new confidence,” stated Dykes. 
Dykes started five of his new signings; Michael Kerr, Packie Mailey, Davy Kee, Sean Noble and Stephen O’Flynn against the Glens and he felt that they all made a positive contribution.
“Kee hasn’t played 90 minutes in eight months but you can see the pride he has in pulling on the Ballinamallard jersey and he was itching to get going. That 90 minutes will really stand to him. 
“I thought young Kerr was outstanding, Mailey will only get better with games, Noble is a threat, he looks to go in behind and he’s quick and O’Flynn was excellent.
“I thought we looked like a squad. I felt for the first time we looked solid defensively although I would be disappointed with giving away two goals from set pieces which is something we work on. 
“I felt though that we looked a threat and we should have been further ahead at the half time but when you are on top you have to take your chances. We’ll take the positives out of it though and hopefully we can push on,” he added.
O’Flynn had a chance to put the game to bed midway through the second half but somehow missed from a yard out with the goal at his mercy. Dykes though says that the big striker will have no problem putting it behind him.
“He is a great character and he’ll bounce back. Already what he has done is he is a focal point for us and he is a big, honest lad. People don’t see all the things that he does and he will score more than he misses,” said Dykes.
The Mallards boss, who confirmed that Ryan McConnell has left the club, says his squad will be stronger again this week with a number of players set to return from injury and suspension.
“Ryan O’Reilly should come back in, we got Hutchy back on the pitch last week, Leddy was suspended so he comes back into the reckoning and Ross Taheny will also come back into the reckoning.  We have a strong squad now and people are going to be disappointed,” he added.