Ards have slid into the battle to avoid drop, admits Nixon
Ards 0 Carrick Rangers 4
Ards manager Colin Nixon conceded his side have been dragged into the relegation battle after they were dismantled by a rampant Carrick Rangers on Saturday.
The second from bottom Gers won 4-0 at the Bangor Fuels Arena thanks to goals from Eamon McAllister, Sean Noble, Declan O'Brien and a Martin Murray penalty.
Although Ards sit nine points clear of the relegation play-off place, they have only managed one win in their last 19 Premiership outings and Nixon, who has been in charge for the last eight league games, said: "We are in a dogfight now with Carrick Rangers and Portadown, there's no doubt about that.
"But we believe that we are good enough to change our run of form and good enough to start getting points on the board.
"We are in a difficult position and we are conceding a lot of poor goals, but we will stick with it and do everything we can to start picking up points.
"We are conceding poor goals and not posing a threat at the other end.
"When you keep making mistakes and missing chances, then it's very difficult to win games of football."
Carrick now find themselves 12 points clear of Portadown and the automatic relegation place. They remain in the play-off spot, nine points shy of Ards and Ballinamallard United.
Manager Aaron Callaghan said: "The win over Ards had been coming.
"We had been working hard in training and getting a little closer each week, so I felt a win was on the cards.
"There's been a lot of talk about the League Cup final but my main job has always been to keep Carrick in the Premiership.
"We've given ourselves some breathing space from Portadown and we've gained a bit of ground on Ards, so it was a very good result."