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Avoiding the drop is Carrick's number one focus, says boss Callaghan

By Adrian Rutherford

Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan has admitted he would swap League Cup glory for survival in the Danske Bank Premiership this season.

His side sit second bottom of the league with just 12 points from 20 games.

Tonight they can briefly escape their relegation woes as they take on Glenavon for a place in the League Cup final.

But, while Carrick are just 90 minutes away from a major final, Callaghan insists survival is his primary focus.

"The league has to be the priority," he admitted.

"To be fair, I think staying in the league is paramount to the club and to the fans, to the players and myself.

"A cup final would be great, but it will count for little if we don't stay up."

While Callaghan's focus is on survival, it doesn't mean they will be taking tonight's semi-final tie lightly.

"It's the semi-final of a cup and the club hasn't been in a semi-final for a while," he said.

"So we'll go out and give a good performance and try and win the game. It's still a very important game for us."

Carrick beat Ballyclare Comrades, Armagh City and Dungannon Swifts to reach the last four of the competition.

Tonight they face Glenavon, who they held to a 0-0 draw in the league in October.

It gives Callaghan, a former Bohemians and UCD boss, a chance of reaching a final just weeks after landing the Carrick job.

However, the club's precarious league position concerns him and he admits it will be a big task to keep them up.

"I've said from day one that it won't be easy," he added. "There are some good teams in this league so it's a big challenge but it is one that I'm looking forward to.

"It's one that I have faced on numerous occasions with other clubs that I have been with and one that I'm hopeful of turning around."

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