Ballinamallard manager Harry McConkey is hoping his side can keep their good run of form going when they face Queens University at Ferney Park on Saturday.

Following their emphatic 4-0 win over Dundela last weekend the Mallards have now only lost one of their last seven league games and have climbed to fourth in the Championship league table.

Queens present the next threat to Ballinamallard, and although the students are coming into the match on the back of a four game losing streak McConkey is expecting a tough test from a side he expects to improve.

“This is the sort of momentum that we need to be building, but we know we have a real potential banana skin against Queens on Saturday,” he said.

“They have had a difficult enough introduction so far but I know from experience with them that students are late getting back into their routine and the manager Peter Thompson often has an unsettled team until this time of the year.

“I know some of his results have been due to that but he has those players back now. They are a really good footballing team and will love our pitch.”

The young Queens team will face a Ballinamallard side high on confidence. Goals from McCartney, Campbell, Edgar and Moorehead gave Saturday’s score line a convincing look, but McConkey acknowledged that 4-0 did not tell the whole story of the game.

“We have said in the past how we have been very good between the two boxes and a little disappointed in how we defended in our box and how we finished in the other box, but I think on Saturday it was probably the opposite,” he said.

“We worked very well out of possession, but I feel when we got the ball again we didn’t do as well with it as we would have liked to. I thought we had started the game quite sharp and better than we have in the past, but I always felt there was a threat from them because they have a lively front six.

“The second goal gave us a great lift just before half time, because they were dangerous and they were always in the game.

“When we came out in the second half they went all guns blazing and our backs were to the wall. We were defending corner kicks for our lives. Sometimes, like against Linfield, we have conceded goals in those situations so we had to ride that storm. We changed from 3-4-3 to a back four but even at two nil they were threatening our goals and one goal would have changed everything, so the third goal was very important.

“Even at 3-0 I was asking them to retain the ball better but we kept giving it away, and as a result we were lacking in fluidity and that is something we need to be better at. There is always room for us to improve but you have to enjoy victories like that.”

One disappointment from Saturday’s win was the injury suffered by Richard Clarke. The team captain has just returned from a spell on the sidelines but he sustained a shoulder injury that will keep him out of the next few games.

“It looks like his shoulder popped out and back in again,” explained McConkey.

“The x-ray was clear and we are hoping that there is no major damage around the joint. It maybe went into spasm and that was causing him pain but they gave him muscle relaxants and pain killers and that has helped him. We are hoping the prognosis is that he is not out for a long period of time, but it certainly will be a couple of weeks at least.”

Dwayne McManus should make a timely return from injury and will be in contention to replace Clarke for Saturday. He will get additional match time this week when he joins fellow midfielder John Currie in the Northern Ireland squad for the Junior international friendly against the Republic of Ireland. Ryan Morris is also on the comeback trail and is expected to be available for selection, but squad players

Darragh Byrne and Dean Corrigan remain sidelined. New signing Darren Freeman will join up with his new teammates for the first time at training on Thursday.