The defeat to Warrenpoint Town last Saturday has made Ballinamallard’s survival bid even tougher but manager Gavin Dykes remains positive that his side can catch Carrick who sit four points above the Mallards in the table.
Warrenpoint’s win now leaves ten points between them and Ballinamallard but Dykes says that they just have to put that loss behind them and focus on this Friday night’s encounter against Cliftonville.
“We have got to go and do the best we can possibly do when we take on Cliftonville on Friday night. If we can get a full team out and get a performance from everybody then we are a match for anybody. Look, we know they are a good side and it will be tough but our focus has to be on trying to catch Carrick so we have to try and get points on the board. We can’t rely on other results, we have got to try and win football matches so we just have to put this behind us and move on,” said Dykes.
The Warrenpoint loss was a tough one for Dykes and his players to take. The Mallards went behind to Conor McMenamin header in the first half but having dominated the second half, despite losing Ryan O’Reilly to a red card, the Mallards could not find a way back into the game.
“We all knew it was a huge game and there is ten points in it now between us and them and that is going to be hard to try and drag back but the bottom line for us is, we are bottom and we have got to try and catch Carrick.”
On the game, Dykes was disappointed with the manner of the Warrenpoint goal and he also felt that nothing went for his side on the day.
“For their goal the players that were supposed to be doing their job didn’t take responsibility and they score in the second phase from a set play which is something that we talked about. 
“I felt though at half time that we would get back into it and we did, we had a couple of chances but it was one of those days that nothing broke for us in and around the penalty box.We dominated the game in the second half, even when we were down to ten men we were the far better side but at the end of the day we came away with nothing so I’m disappointed,” he stated.
New signing Davy Kee will be a doubt for the Cliftonville game having been forced off on Saturday before half time with a groin injury but Dykes is hopeful that others will be back in contention.
“Keesy is struggling with his groin, it will be touch and go for him and if he is in anyway not right we won’t risk him as I can’t afford to lose him. McKenna’s neck was at him all last week so we didn’t use him but hopefully he will be alright and Ross Taheny should come back into contention. On top of that we got Hutchy through an hour or so against Warrenpoint and hopefully he will be able for a full 90 minutes this week,” he added.
Dykes has had a busy January with six new faces coming in while Ryan McConnell has left the club and Dykes admits that a couple more could also leave before the end of the month.
“There is the possibility that one or two might be away before the window closes,” he said.