‘Ease off and you’re out’ Town boss warns squad

You put your right hand in - Town boss Ryan Watson and Ex boss Colin Malone do the hokey cokey during Saturday's match. INBL1508-233EB
You put your right hand in - Town boss Ryan Watson and Ex boss Colin Malone do the hokey cokey during Saturday's match. INBL1508-233EB

Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson has warned his side not to ease off.

Town have climbed up to tenth in the league table, nine points clear of the bottom two but, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Portstewart (kick-off 3pm), Watson is intent on keeping their good run going.

“We’ve been putting points on the board but you can never relax because it would come back to bite you,” he said.

“The players will be well drilled in that. Anybody who is taking their foot off the pedal won’t be in the team. There are still a lot of points to play for so we won’t be getting complacent.

“We want to push on now and get as far up the table as possible. It would be nice to look down in a few weeks’ time and see that we aren’t in bad shape.”

Portstewart have won the last two meetings between the teams, including a 2-0 victory at Crystal Park in August but they’re just three points ahead of Town in the Championship Two table.

“That’s another incentive, to reel them back in,” said Watson. “We played them in the first game of the season and we didn’t turn up. Going up there is always tough but we’ll be well prepared for it.”

Ryan Evans and Mark Teggart had to be taken off during Saturday’s draw with Lurgan Celtic but Watson is hoping both will be fit for the trip north. He’s also optimistic that defenders John Murphy and Chris Coleman will return to the squad but Ryan Gourley and Michael Ferguson will miss the game.

Watson was delighted with that 0-0 stalemate against the league leaders and is hoping it will help to inspire his squad.

“That’s four points taken off them now and deservedly so,” he said.

“Even though it was 0-0, it was a ding dong 0-0. It was an entertaining game to watch and there wasn’t much in it at all.

“We played really, really well. We kept our shape and everybody did what they were asked.

“Going into the game, I always felt we would get something because we have been playing well. We had a few players back in the squad again, which makes all the difference.

“It was a good performance, which will give us a lot of confidence and give us a foothold to build on now.

“Hopefully the players will take a bit more belief in themselves out of that game. When they take on board instructions, they are a match for anybody, as our performances since the turn of the year have shown.”

Watson also praised the togetherness in the squad after their recent upturn in results.

“There was always a good atmosphere,” he said. “The dressing room is very tight, everybody gets on and works hard for each other. That’s what we need and one of the reasons why we have bounced back so well since January.”