Tipton plans to come back stronger after suspension
Matthew Tipton is hoping his upcoming suspension may actually prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Last Saturday, in Ballymena United's 1-0 win over Dungannon Swifts, Tipton received a controversial straight red card for a tackle just before the break.
The Welsh forward served his automatic suspension on Tuesday night - when United beat Crusaders 2-0 at Seaview in the County Antrim Shield - but he's expecting a further ban.
The former Portadown and Linfield striker isn't happy about it, but he hopes the enforced break will give him the opportunity to recovery from a string of minor injuries.
"In my opinion it shouldn't have even been a free-kick never mind a red card, but you just have to deal with things sometimes in football," he said.
"I served my automatic one-game ban against Crusaders on Tuesday and I'm expecting another three-game ban, which seem very harsh to me, but I'm just going to get on with it.
"I'm trying to make something positive from it. I've been suffering from a number of niggles and knocks in recent weeks. It's nothing serious but I think a rest will do me some good.
"We've got a County Antrim Shield semi-final coming up and we're still in the League Cup, plus we've got the busy Christmas period coming up, so I want to get back to full fitness and on top of my game so I can contribute something to the team during that period.
"Obviously nobody wants to be suspended, particularly when they feel hard done by, but maybe some good can come from it."
Tipton is available for selection for today's encounter with Carrick Rangers, but he's unsure as whether he will be selected by manager Glenn Ferguson, as the Sky Blues were so impressive during their Shield victory over Crusaders. It's all a far cry from August when United conceded 16 goals in five matches.
"I don't think I could put my finger on one thing that has turned our season around.
"I don't think there's really one thing or another that's changed the results, but I watched the boys from the main stand at Seaview on Tuesday night and I was really impressed with what I saw.
"When you're in the stands you get a much better view of the game than you do from the bench or the pitch, and you could see the lads were playing really well and full of hunger to win the game.
"Even if I was fully fit I couldn't have any complaints if I wasn't picked after Tuesday night's performance. The lads were fantastic."
Tipton believes his team-mates can't afford to underestimate Premiership new boys Carrick, even after defeating the champions on Tuesday night.
"Carrick Rangers are a good team, in my opinion. I really don't see them getting relegated this season because they've a great togetherness and in Miguel Chines they've got somebody who can score goals.
"A few people said to me at the start of the season that they will be difficult to beat at their place and I think that's been proved to be the case. If you get points at home then that's a big advantage," said Tipton.