Saturday, May 21, 2022

Bailie ponders position

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Ards manager John Bailie has confessed that he will consider his position if results do not improve. Last Saturday, Ards slumped to their eighth league defeat of the season when Dundela won 3-1 at Clandeboye Park. Ahead of Friday’s clash with Annagh United, the one-time league leaders find themselves in sixth position, a full ten points behind Newry City. While Bailie retains the support of club chairman Warren Patton, the manager has received some criticism from the terraces following the recent poor run of form. Bailie said: “I’m not under any pressure from the chairman. I can’t speak highly enough of the chairman, he has supported me 100% and he will continue to support me. “But I put pressure on myself to win. I love this club and I want to see it succeed. If I think it’s the best thing for this club, I will consider my position.” Following the previous weekend’s Irish Cup defeat at Wilgar Park, Ards players staged a team meeting. Despite the dialogue, the team produced a similar performance against the same opponents in Saturday’s Championship encounter. Speaking directly after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat, Bailie said: “The players had a meeting on Tuesday. They ironed out a few issues and made a few requests. And we addressed those concerns, but there was no improvement against Dundela. “Today, I asked the players, ‘am I problem?’. And there’s probably four or five players in there that would gladly see me go, but that’s only natural in a dressing room. “In fairness to the players I know they don’t come here to make mistakes or lose games, but there’s a real mental block at the moment.” While Bailie was disappointed with his team’s showing, he took responsibility for the 3-1 defeat. He said: “Something is not right. Something is not clicking. Let’s be honest about it, it isn’t good enough. And that’s my responsibility. “There were 15 minute spells where we played like Real Madrid. Then there were other 15 minute spells where we played like Portavogie Rangers Thirds. “Some of the decisions and some of the individual errors we make are crazy. Dundela’s first goal came from a long ball into the box. I want my goalkeeper (Brian Neeson) to come out and claim it, but instead he shouts ‘away’. We don’t clear it properly and five seconds later, it’s in the back of the net. The second goal wasn’t much better. Again, we failed to clear our lines. “We played well in the first half. At half-time we talked about our habit of not performing well in the second half, yet it happened again. The boys sat too deep. We tried to push them up the field, but they didn’t respond. “There’s players in our changing room that think they’re footballers, but they’re not showing it. That needs to change.” Bailie hopes to hand new goalkeeper Jack Lemoignan his debut on Friday night. The 21 year-old has joined the club on loan from Derry City until the end of the season. Striker Joe Tully, who missed the Dundela game due to a holiday, is also available for selection. However, TJ Murray fractured his cheekbone during Saturday’s defeat to Dundela. The midfielder is likely to be sidelined until March. Eamon Scannell is also set to miss the Friday night match, through illness. On the opening day of the season, Ards won 3-2 at Tandragee Road, however the Portadown club gain revenged in November with a 2-0 win at Clandeboye Park. Ciaran McGurgan’s men sit in third, four points clear of Ards.

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