Glebe Rangers slumped to rock bottom on Saturday - but resilient manager Gary Scott is confident his side can race back up the league table.
Rangers travelled to in-form Ballinamallard United but had to endure a long and miserable return journey from Co Fermanagh after suffering a 2-0 defeat.
The result affected both ends of the Belfast Telegraph Championship table as ’Mallard soared to the top spot while Glebe plummeted to last place.
However, Scott is not too concerned by the club’s disappointing league position and believes he can turn the season around. With around a quarter of the fixtures completed, Scott asked any doubters of his ability to ensure survival: “If you watched a horse race with a quarter of it gone, do you know anyone who can say how that race is going to finish with any certainty?”
The loss came on the back of a heartbreaking week for the club when they were booted out of the Steel & Sons Cup for fielding an unsigned player.
However, Scott insisted the expulsion had no bearing on his team’s performance.
Glebe went 1-0 down inside the first 20 minutes after a bad clearance.
The local side upped their game in the second half but conceded again in added time as they searched for a crucial equaliser.
Scott said: “They huffed and puffed but responded well especially in the second half against a very good side who went top of the league. We went for it in the second half and were caught by a sucker punch deep in injury time.
“This group of players work hard every week.
“It’s a tough league, there are no gimmes and we just have to keep going. We just have to do a lot of the things we are doing on Tuesday and Thursday nights and the results will come.”
Glebe’s cause wasn’t helped on Saturday with the notable absentees of top players Ian Parkhill, Owen Moody and Nigel Turner.
But Scott failed to offer this as an excuse and is resolute that the hard work put in by his charges will end the current crisis. He added: “All that matters is the next game. I know what my players go through in training and the effort on Saturday, I’ve no complaints for what they do, all their effort.
“I am not worried with results. There are no teams going to roll over on Saturday and you are going to have to work very hard to get anything out of the games, but we are prepared to do just that.”
Scott said he is looking for a home win against seventh-placed Dergview this Saturday to put last week’s woes behind him.
Last Monday night the Co Antrim FA expelled the club from the Steel & Sons over the registration row.
Scott indicated that the matter was not completely over and hinted there could possibly be a few more twists and turns in the dispute in which the club were also hit with a £25 fine.
Scott refused to be drawn further but added that the ruling was “a huge disappointment for the club”.
Referring to the Dergview game, Scott added: “We are trying to improve every week, trying to look back at games to learn from them.”
“Dergview will be a tough game, they are all tough, [however] I expect to us perform.”