PETER Allen is hoping that centre-back Lee McNulty will be fit to face Knockbreda at Darragh Park later today.
The defender was taken to hospital on Saturday evening after being allegedly elbowed in the head in the closing minutes of the stunning 4-1 victory over neighbours Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park on Saturday.
On doctor’s advice, McNulty sat out Tuesday evening’s historic 1-0 Bet McLean League Cup victory over Glenavon.
“Lee’s welfare is more important than anything else,” said Allen.
“Of course he would have played but I won’t being taking any risks.
“It was a very disappointing incident, unprovoked, and he has quite a bit of swelling and bruising.”
Allen is also hoping that Philip Wallace, who scored against the Ducks, will have recovered from an ankle strain as he plans for the visit of a ‘Breda side, who suffered their first defeat of the season by going down 2-0 a home to Carrick Rangers.
Lee Forsythe’s outfit have established themselves as formidable opponents in the Championship and Allen is expecting another tough encounter.
“It’s going to be physical, one hell of a battle and if were not on the money then we’ll be turned over, simple as that,” he continued.
“Defeating Ballinamallard was an occasion to be enjoyed but it’s back to business as usual. It’s just three points and we’ll be aiming for three more on Saturday. Every game in the Championship is a battle and you can’t afford to drop your standards.”
The Darragh Park chief will be hoping for the same hunger, desire and commitment that his players showed in the league win against the Mallards – Dergview’s second of the season – and that memorable victory at Mourneview Park on Tuesday evening.
Reflecting on the deserved derby win which came courtesy of goals by Paul Smith, Garth Falconer, Wallace and an OG that owed everything to a thrilling run and dangerous cross by Andy Sproule, Allen said his players and done their talking on the pitch.
“It was terrific, you saw the emotion at the end it meant a lot, a first derby in six years.
“The subs worked for us. In the first half I thought we over played it at the back, they wanted us to have the ball but that contributed to our own downfall.
“Once we changed that we had no problems at all. I had Ballinamallard watched, watched a few videos and I thought they would try and bring us out to leave the space in behind.
“Once we got the initial 20 minutes out of the way we were alright. We got the goal and then they equalised with that one in behind. That has to stop for us to be a serious team. All in all that was the only real mistake we made all day.
“There was only one team in the second half, we bullied them all over the field. The workrate from everyone was immense, and I can’t be prouder of the players.
“After the game boys were asking me about the Glenavon cup game but I just told them enjoy the day, Glenavon will look after itself.”