Oran Kearney says he is determined to keep his squad united and deflect any criticism away from the players as they bid to get themselves out of their results rut.
The Bannsiders boss told Times Sport that he fully understands the flack his team have been getting in recent weeks but he wants to protect his players as he feels added pressure will only harm their efforts to get back to winning ways.
“I’ve an honest bunch of lads here, there’s no-one cheating here and not caring about what is happening us at the minute,” said Kearney.
“All the talk from them is about how frustrated they are about the current situation we find ourselves in. I fully understand the fans are frustrated too, but no-one goes out to play badly.
“This is the first real blip we’ve had in the two-and-a-half years I’ve been here so I’d just ask the supporters to get behind us and help us get out of it.
“We need every aspect of the club pulling together at this time. We will get out of it if we work together.
“I’m trying to deflect the criticism away from the lads at the minute as I don’t want the pressure they are under at the minute being added to and it can create a mindset of negativity. They need to focus on the job in hand which is getting us back to winning ways again.
“It’s tough at the minute but this will stand the players in good stead at the end of it. They will be stronger for it.”
Kearney revealed to Times Sport he met with the board last week and they are fully behind him.
“I had a good chat with the Board on Thursday night,” he said.
“I am not under pressure – and I wouldn’t expect to be under any pressure. I can sound as arrogant as I want when I say that. I’ve been here for two-and-a-half years and, in that time the club has made fantastic progress.
“I know that 95% of what fans care about at the club is the first team results and at the minute it’s not good enough, but we are all working hard to turn it around. I feel I’ve earned the opportunity to turn things around given my record up to this point. As I said the players are an honest bunch and are all in this together.
“We know we need results though. Saturday’s clash with Warrenpoint is a massive game, we need a response from the players, hopefully it will prove to be a catalyst for us.”