THE Larne players were left disappointed when Saturday’s scheduled Championship One game with Bangor was postponed - and none more so than Gary Workman. The 21-year-old is in a rich vein of form at the moment and was hoping to impress again against the league’s bottom club.
“We were really up for the game,” he said. “The boys were buzzing at training during the week and by the way we were training on Thursday night, we really fancied our chances to get three points.”
Workman admitted his performances in the early part of the season had not been his best but since the arrival of Graham McConnell to the at the club there has been a marked improvement in his form. And despite languishing second-bottom in the table, he’s confident Larne’s new-found team spirit can help propel them to a top-half finish.
“It was a poor start to the season but since Graham has taken over he has got the best out of a lot of the players, including me. I am now enjoying my football again. The manager has no favourites and if you are not producing the goods you can quickly end up on the bench or be dropped.
“We have now got a settled side, attitudes are better and we are a match for any side in the league. Some of the players who came in before the window closed have moved on again and the team are now bonding better.
“We will not be relying on other team’s results to get out of the danger area as we believe in ourselves and think we can achieve a top-half finish. I honestly believe if we play to our abilities we will be safe before it gets to the last few games of the season.”
Workman’s father, Sammy, recently returned to the Inver Park club as first-team coach. So, does having his dad in the back room make it difficult for Gary as a player?
“When we are on the pitch he’s just another coach. I don’t look for any favours and I can assure you I don’t get any. The only problem working with my dad is that my mother is fed up with football talk at the dinner table!
“I am enjoying playing on the right side of midfield which is my favoured position and I think it is helping my confidence after being shifted around in other games. We now have more options up front with Sencer Yilmaz, a good target man, and Lee Thompson whose pace is frightening. We having been joking that when we pass the ball to him he needs to wait for us to catch up,” laughed Workman.
He also explained why he has been wearing the number 14 shirt of late. “Yes, it is true I don’t like wearing the number six because, for me, it’s a defender’s number and that definitely isn’t me.
“Hopefully we can repeat the form we showed at Warrenpoint [a 3-0 win] for the rest of the season. As I say, there is great team spirit at the club and I believe if the current players stay together there is a big future for the club.”