Survival the goal for Dave Mackey and Bray Wanderers

Dave Mackey is hoping that Bray won't be confined to the First Division by the end of 2018.

Bray Wanderers’ main objective for the 2018 Airtricity League Premier Division is to avoid relegation, according to Seagulls manager Dave Mackey.

Bray kick off their domestic league campaign this Friday night when they travel to Oriel Park to take on one of the title favourites Dundalk.

Speaking at the launch of the 2018 Airtricity League in the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, Mackey – who was appointed in January – said that the club’s primary aspiration for the season is survival.

“The main goal this year in the Premier Division is to maintain our Premier Division status.

“Obviously we’ll be looking to build on the great work that was done last year by Harry Kenny, the management team, and the players so we’ll be looking to build on that but the main goal is to retain our Premier Division status,” he told WicklowNews.

Wanderers have already played a competitive fixture this year, having lost to St. Patrick’s Athletic in the Leinster Senior Cup last week. Despite the defeat, which saw Bray concede three goals in the first 10 minutes, Mackey took positives from the game.

“We learnt loads from the first half. In adversity we learned a great deal.

“We were able to address some of those issues at half time. Obviously what we do is try to address them on the training ground. We work towards building the cohesion of the team during the week for the game at the weekend,” Mackey said.

Mackey added that he was satisfied by their preseason preparations considering the uncertainty at the club which included a dropped match-fixing investigation which Mackey claims he never gave a second thought to.

“In the circumstances, I am really pleased with how the preseason has gone.

“The key thing in preseason was to try and get the core group of players that were out of contract last year back on board. The key players have resigned for us.

“It [match-fixing investigation] has had no impact whatsoever because my focus has been purely on the football side. In actual fact I haven’t given a thought to it. I just like to focus on what I can control and what I can control is on the football side. We never discussed it and we never gave it a second thought,” he said.

Overall, Mackey said that he was pleased by the commitment that the players have shown the club, especially the group of players that resigned to the club after their contracts expired at the end of the season.

“When you see the core group of players resigning from last year, that tells you something as well and I was really pleased about that because when I met the players, I was struck by the bond that they had and by the fact that they themselves wanted to build on what they achieved last season. That was very positive from my point of view,” he said.

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