Larne boss determined to win last two league games

David McAlinden, Larne FC Manager.

David McAlinden, Larne FC Manager.

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With two matches left, Larne boss Davy McAlinden is as keen to win both games as if they were a league title decider and an Irish Cup final.

And the young manager says he wants his resolve and ambition to be matched every step of the way by each one of his players.

Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat to Bangor was the first of three tough away matches which the Inver manager had already said will determine the prospects of new contract offers for all his current playing staff and, speaking to the Times, he reminded one and all what is expected of them in these outings.

McAlinden is insisting that his team must go hell for leather for wins against Loughgall at Lakeview Park and Coagh United at Hagan Park.

But the last match is for analysis at a later date, his focus this week is on securing a result against a team which has been involved in high-scoring games.

“Loughgall won 6-4 on Saturday against Ballyclare Comrades and a while before that they had another 10-goal thriller in which Institute needed a last-gasp goal to get a 5-5 draw. So they certainly know how to bag plenty of goals, but then they are conceding a lot of them as well,” explained the Larne boss.

“Indeed, sandwiched in between those good results was a hefty defeat, 6-1 away to Bangor. Sthey are vulnerable, just like the rest of us, to a bad day at the office.

“However, you just need to look at their squad and I have seen them a few times and they looked pretty good and are hugely experienced.

“Wayne Drummond, former keeper with Ballymena, there’s David Cully, James Costello, Stevie Ferguson and Wes Boyle – all quality performers with vast experience.

“Brian Adair has come in and built a fair team around him and he knows what he’s about, so it’s a tall order for us to go to mid-Ulster and get a victory. But that’s what we will be endeavouring to do.

“But, mark my words, the players will be in absolutely no doubt what is expected of them. Whether we’re playing tiddlywinks or sprinting down the street, no matter if a game is a kickabout in the car park or an Irish Cup Final, I demand maximum effort from them to go out and do their absolute best to be victorious.

“I’ve said it time and again, winning the next game is the objective every time and we really want to finish as high up the table as possible. And Loughgall are sitting on our heels and we need to keep ahead of them. It’s as simple as that.

“The one disappointing aspect as we prepare for the concluding two fixtures is that we will, unfortunately, be without William Wharry who is going off on a pre-arranged family holiday. That decimates our already depleted numbers even further. But that happens and you have to accept it and move on.

“However, as I always say, the absence of one player opens the door of opportunity for another, so we’ll head to County Armagh on Saturday and see if we can get the performance we desire. And, if we do, I will take whatever result comes with that,” added the optimistic manager.