Warrenpoint aiming to maintain Division One status

By Shaun Casey

DESPITE sitting fourth in the Division One league table with six games left to play, Warrenpoint still aren’t mathematically safe from relegation and achieving that remains their main focus, says manager John Boyle.

Having won six of their 12 league outings, and drawn another, Warrenpoint sit on 13 points, seven behind league leaders Kilcoo and five above the relegation zone as things currently stand.

Warrenpoint lost to table-toppers Kilcoo last Friday evening, with five-points the difference between the two sides at full time, but will be keen to bounce back when they host Bredagh this weekend and continue on their journey towards safety.

“The league is ultra-competitive in Division One and there’s been no easy games,” said Boyle.

“It’s very tight and so we’ve been sort of trudging along. I’m happy with what I’ve got but it’s like everything, you’re never ever happy or you never should be happy with things.

“There’s been certain games where things haven’t gone well for us but on the whole, I’m relatively pleased. It comes into a bit of a silly season now with holidays and there’s been a few injuries so it’s just trying to juggle everything.

“The priority for us is to get safe as soon as we can, to get mathematically safe, that’s when I’ll be happy. Then we can turn our attentions towards preparation for the championship, which is what you’re generally judged on.”

On the importance of staying up, Boyle added: “league form and things like that generally go out the window at the end of the season, it’s all about what happens in the championship.

“I’m very conscious that we need to keep driving hard until we get safe in the league because that’s the number one priority for the club, remaining a Division One team.”

Boyle took the leap into management last season, straight after retiring from playing, and has enjoyed the role so far. In his first year, they crashed out of the championship following a round three defeat to Mayobridge.

“I wasn’t necessarily sure that that’s what I wanted to do straight away, especially when you’re trying to coach and manage people you’ve played with,” added Boyle on taking over the management role right after retiring.

“There are certain challenges with that, it can potentially bring a lot of stress. When things aren’t going your way, I do feel more of a responsibility.

“I do enjoy it, but I think it’s just trying to get used to what comes with it, especially on match day and that type of thing. I suppose you do feel the pressure but it’s because you really want to do well when it’s your own team.

“If you walk down the street you know people are going to have their opinions and tell you what you should or shouldn’t have done.

“You can’t really escape that element of it but like anything, you have to relish the challenge and try to do really well,” he added.

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