Ballinamallard manager Harry McConkey says that he will take a few days to get Saturday’s Irish Cup defeat to Dergview out of his system before starting to look ahead to next season.

The Mallards made their exit following a penalty shoot-out to local rivals Dergview but, while disappointed with the loss, McConkey stresses that this is just a starting point, not an end.

“It always takes me two or three days to get over something like this and get it out of my system but the comfort that I have is that this is just the start of the journey and not the end.

“We have got to get ourselves in a really good state for coming back in mid June,” he said.

The Ducks boss says that he will sit down with the club in the near future for the usual end of season review.

“I obviously have to talk to my committee re my own situation at the club.This has to be mutually ratified as is the norm at this time of the year,” he added.

If both parties are happy then the manager will immediately begin looking at his squad for the new season.

“We have a very strong squad but I will have to talk to the players – Ross Taheny has informed me that he is going to Dubai - and you need to know first of all what you have before you can look to strengthen.

“At the moment I am very pleased with what I have but you are always seeing is there a way that you can improve the squad.

“Make no mistake this is going to be a very competitive Championship next season and a lot of teams are already strengthening.

“It is going to be a very tight league and a challenge that we need to be ready for and if that means bringing in another little bit of extra quality then we will do just that,” he stated.

McConkey had expected a tight game on Saturday as ties against Dergview usually are and that is exactly how it panned out.

“We knew it was going to be tight and it was going to be tough because Dergview are a good side.

“We felt that we didn’t threaten their goal enough in the first half but we put a bit more pressure on it in the second half.

“I did feel that in the second half we took more control of the game, we had more controlled possession and we were building and keeping the ball a bit better than we did in the first half,” commented the Mallards boss.

He was though disappointed with the goals that his side conceded on the day.

“The second goal that they got, from their point of view was a good goal but from ours we would feel we defended very poorly, in fact both goals were poorly defended and we know you can’t defend like that and expect to win games,” he explained.

He did though feel that after Taheny had equalised his side could have pushed on for the win.

“We had hoped after we equalised in the 82nd minute that we could maybe squeeze another one in the 90 minutes.Paul Wells pulled off a wonder save from Darragh Mc Brien’s bullet shot and how he got there I’ll never know!

“I would have loved extra time - and I know why the IFA did that to protect the demand on players - but with the squad that we have extra time would possibly have been in our favour.”

Instead though it was straight to penalties and McConkey admits he felt for Duwayne McManus and Alex Holder who missed for the Ducks.

“The penalties become a lottery but I thought the quality of them were superb.

“It was cruel on Mono and Alex to suffer that as they had been superb in the whole build up to this game throughout April ” he said.

This Saturday, the Mallards will compete in a tournament hosted by Fivemiletown United and including Drumaness Mills and Strabane Athletic and McConkey, who will bring a 17 man squad, is delighted to be able to give game time to some of those who didn’t feature on Saturday.

“We’re pleased to get the opportunity to clear our heads from last week and to also give game time to some who didn’t get it last week,” concluded McConkey.