Irish Premiership: 'It's not over till it's over' - Newry boss Darren Mullen

Dale Montgomery
Dale Montgomery will be hoping to help Newry City avoid relegation on the final day

Newry City manager Darren Mullen says his side "will certainly not be giving up" as the battle to avoid automatic relegation from the Premiership goes to the final day of the regular season.

Ards' 1-0 win over Dungannon on Tuesday night, combined with Newry's 2-1 defeat by Institute, left Mullen's team three points adrift at the foot of the table.

Ards are away to Warrenpoint Town and Newry at home to Dungannon on Saturday.

"We'll keep fighting until the end. It's still to play for," said Mullen.

As well as needing a win over the Swifts and hoping Warrenpoint can defeat Ards, the north Down club's superior goal difference means that Newry also require a four-goal swing to occur in their favour.

"We're certainly not giving up and it's not over till it's over. We'll try to beat Dungannon and whatever happens after that is outside of our control," added the Newry boss.

"There have been plenty of games out there that have swung in a direction you weren't expecting them to. We just have to go and concentrate on ourselves and see what happens."

Newry left out Declan Carville, Stephen Hughes and Mark McCabe on Tuesday because of a breach of club discipline but while midfielder Carville and front-man Hughes are reported to have played their last games for the club, McCabe is likely to return to the squad for Saturday's key encounter.

Despite needing just a point to ensure their top-flight safety Ards manager Warren Feeney says his side will not be playing for a draw at Milltown.

"I've said to the players that they've got to go out and win an the rest takes care of itself," confirmed Feeney.

Mick McDermott's Glentoran side need a draw at home to Institute to guarantee a place in the Europa League play-off
Mick McDermott replaced Gary Smyth as Glentoran manager in late March

'We have our destiny in our own hands' - McDermott

A point at home to Institute would be enough for seventh-placed Glentoran to secure a place in the end-of-season Europa League play-offs.

"It's a massive game for us. It's a cup final but we're ready for it," commented Glens boss Mick McDermott.

"The players have shown the ability to fight and come back and if you'd asked us a few weeks ago if we would settle for this to come down to the last game of the season against Institute at home we would probably have taken it.

"We are happy with the position we're in with our destiny in our own hands. To make an impact you need money and that's obviously a big incentive for us.

"The chance to get into the play-offs and compete for the potential financial rewards is massive."

Hamilton's 'sole attention' on play-off

In the final round of fixtures in the top half of the league Coleraine host champions Linfield, Ballymena United entertain Crusaders and Glenavon are at home to Cliftonville.

Most of the top six sides are expected to rotate their squads and make changes to their starting line-ups, with Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton being very clear about where his priorities now lie.

"We have a match on Saturday but our sole attention and focus now has to be on the play-off because it's so important to get to the final and then try to win it," emphasised Hamilton.

"When we start the season we target European football. Every club wants it and we all need it. We have given ourselves a chance."

Baxter seeks pre-cup final boost

Crues manager Stephen Baxter concedes that when his squad travel to Ballymena they will have more than one eye on next week's Irish Cup final against Ballinamallard United, with a Europa League berth the prize for the winner.

"For the last four or five weeks we've had to rotate around injuries and suspensions, as well as managing the amount of game time certain people have been playing.

"That's important from my point of view with the cup final not far away - but by the same token we've got to get wins on the board.

"We've got to get consistency into our game, produce better performances and bring more to the party."

Danske Bank Premiership - Saturday 27 April - 15:00 BST
Live coverage on BBC Radio Ulster and text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Ballymena UnitedvCrusaders
Newry CityvDungannon Swifts
Warrenpoint TownvArds