Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes believes that Davy Kee has the battling attributes required to help the Mallards in their fight for safety at the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership table.
Kee completed his return to Ferney Park from Coleraine on a loan deal on Tuesday night, becoming Dykes’ sixth signing of the window, and the manager is delighted to have got him on board.
“We’ve been after him for a while and we are very happy to have Keesy back at the club,” said Dykes. “He is a battler and winner and he knows the club which is an advantage.”
Dykes is hoping to have Kee available for this Saturday’s home game against Glentoran and he is keen for his side to build on last Saturday’s cup win over Immaculata by securing a positive result against the Glens.
“It’s a huge game but I think it is an opportunity for us. We know that they are a decent side but we are at home and I think if we perform and get the right personnel in place then we can go and get a result. We need to go and get something positive and build on last Saturday and hopefully we can do that,” said the Mallards boss.
Dykes has a number of injury concerns ahead of the game with Niall Owens remaining on the sidelines while there are doubts over Stuart Hutchinson and Ryan O’Reilly and Johnny Leddy is suspended.
“Owens is definitely ruled out and Hutchy and Ross Taheny are doubts for Saturday. O’Reilly is also touch and go and if he is in anyway sore we won’t risk him but Colm McLaughlin will come back in,” he said.
Last Saturday the Mallards booked their place in the next round of the Irish Cup with a 4-2 win over Immaculata and although Dykes wasn’t overly happy with the performance, he did feel there were positives to come out of the game, especially the new signings.
“It was a potential banana skin for us,” he commented. “I was happy that we scored four goals, I was happy that Ryan Curran got a couple and Noble got one and I was delighted with O’Flynn as I thought he did really well. It was also important that Mailey got 90 minutes under his belt as he hasn’t played a game in three months so that will stand to him. There were a lot of things though that I wasn’t happy about. We shouldn’t be conceding two goals against Immaculata that easily. For the first the wall didn’t do it’s job and we were also too open.
“Of course, we are delighted to be in the next round, it is a good confidence boost but we have to do better against the Premier League teams that we are coming up against,” he said.
The draw for the next round saw Ballinamallard face a tough away game against Ballymena.
“We would have loved a home draw but I don’t fear going to Ballymena,” he said. “We have played them twice this year and they have beaten us but I don’t think the scoreline reflects the games. However, we have a lot of big league games between now and then and that’s what we are focusing on.”