BALLINAMALLARD United boss Gavin Dykes says this evening’s crunch clash with fellow strugglers Carrick Rangers at the Loughshore Arena is a “massive” game for the Premiership basement boys.
Were the Ducks to lose they would fall eight points behind second bottom Carrick. On the other hand a win would close the gap to two and leave the Fermanagh side well placed to mount a realistic survival bid in the new year.
Following the Boxing Day defeat to Dungannon Swifts, Dykes admitted he would be glad to see the back of 2017.
“I won’t tell you a lie it’s been a tough year, a very tough year for me,” he said.
“I didn’t expect to be where we are but we are where we are and I can’t wait to see 2018
“Our target is to try and catch Carrick and nothing else matters. We are five points behind them, there’s a lot of football to go.
“We play them on Friiday night, it’s a big game, a massive game.”
The sides have met twice already this season. On their previous visit to the Loughshore Arena the Mallards lost 2-0 but in the corresponding fixture at Ferney Park the Fermanagh men triumphed by the same scoreline.