Smith’s warning after double defeats

Annagh United and Knockbreda players walk out for the start of Tuesday's Irish Cup tie.
Annagh United and Knockbreda players walk out for the start of Tuesday's Irish Cup tie.

Annagh United manager Dean Smith has issued a warning to his players to cut out the lapses or risk the loss of Championship One status.

The combination of a festive fixture list and adverse weather conditions has left Annagh without league concerns since November 28.

Two cup exits inside four days has exposed the problems areas, however, which Annagh must address according to Smith or pay the price.

“Of course you always want to progress in the cups, especially with another Championship One club the opposition if we had won on Tuesday against Knockbreda,” said Smith. “However, the league remains our priority and the full focus is on survival in our first season at this standard.

“With that the goal, we must regroup after defeats to Dergview and Knockbreda inside a few days but also learn from our mistakes.

“I told the players I was very pleased with the Dergview performance but we lost a tight Intermediate Cup game by 2-1.

“On Tuesday in the Irish Cup it was a different story as we lost out to Knockbreda in every department.

“It tells a story that Michael Halliday, a former Irish League striker, was in nets for Knockbreda but we scored an early free-kick thanks to Scott McCordick then failed to test him the rest of the tie.

“We have too often been the architects of our own downfall and that pattern cannot continue in the league.

“We have Dergview at home this weekend in the league and must get back to doing the basics right, in terms of working hard as a group in defence and attack.

“Now it is about the response to Tuesday.”