Gary Boyle admits Newry City’s BetMcLean League Cup clash will be welcome distraction from ‘Groundhog Day’

Newry City manager Gary Boyle. PIC: INPHO/Presseye/Declan Roughan

Boyle’s men have performed admirably against established top-six opponents in recent weeks but don’t have any points to show for it after losing to Coleraine, Larne and Linfield over the past month.

That string of results leaves the Showgrounds outfit sitting 11th in the table – just one point ahead of basement side Dungannon Swifts – after 15 matches as they take a brief pause from the rigours of league action.

They’ll be buoyed by the fact that one of their three Premiership victories this season came at Taylor’s Avenue against Carrick in August when Lorcan Forde and Darragh Owens found the net in a 2-0 triumph.

In fact, Newry have tended to save their best form for the road, picking up nine of their 10 points to date away from home and also progressed to this stage of the League Cup by beating H&W Welders at Blanchflower Park.

Boyle’s main focus will undoubtedly be on pulling away from danger in the league and he’s expecting a tough test against Carrick, who came from behind to beat Glentoran 3-2 at the weekend.

“It takes a wee bit of the monotony of the league away and that Groundhog Day attitude,” he said. “Carrick will be hugely difficult and we will have to be the best version of ourselves going there to get a result.

“Tuesday will be a huge test.

“They beat Glentoran which is a massive result for them and going to Carrick at any time is difficult, never mind after a positive result like that.

“We want to pick up points in every game we play, as difficult as that may be.

“We want to weather this storm in terms of league fixtures first and foremost.

“We’ve had a tough run of games and we feel we’ve played well in a lot of them going back to 10-men against Coleraine, large parts of Loughgall, we certainly played well against Larne and we played well in spells against Linfield.

“We have nothing to show for it and that’s where it’s disappointing.”

The next month will provide Newry with an opportunity to better their position as they take on Dungannon, Glenavon and Ballymena United – the three closest teams to them in the current standings – across the next five league outings.

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Boyle, who took over from Darren Mullen during the summer, knew the season would be challenging but has full confidence his squad have the quality to climb the table.

“It was always going to be a battle,” he said. “I was under no illusions about how difficult it may be.

“We were hopeful at the start of the season that we would improve and maybe stay clear of it.

“It’s about getting enough results to stay out of that danger zone.

“Unfortunately we’re there at the minute but we have full belief that with a couple results and gathering some momentum that we can pull clear.”


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