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Carrick's Callaghan aims to cut deficit in 'six-pointer' with Ballinamallard

By David Mason

Published 13/01/2017

Crucial clash: Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan
Crucial clash: Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan

Carrick Rangers boss Aaron Callaghan admits tonight's clash with fellow strugglers Ballinmallard United at the Loughshore Hotel Arena is a 'six-pointer' for both clubs.

The east Antrim boys trail Gavin Dykes' team by five points in the Danske Premiership table, but Callaghan views this as a genuine chance to cut the deficit.

However, although Callaghan's troops are a healthy nine points ahead of the Portadown, the big Dubliner prefers to look upwards, rather than backwards.

"Our aim is to stay in this division and, even though we have a League Cup final to look forward to a bit further down the line, we'll be doing our utmost to pick up as many points as we can," he said.

"We've beaten Ballinamallard United down at their place early on, so there is no doubt they'll be coming for a bit of revenge.

"I never pay any attention to the team below us in the table (Portadown), it's the team above us that we focus on. So there is no better game - we now have the chance to claw back points on Ballinamallard."

Callaghan has been busy in the January transfer window. He has brought in goalkeeper Yvan Imbert, Reasat Khaton, Kyle McVey, Sam O'Connor, Toyeeb Mustapha, Sean Noble and Aaron Smyth.

"We've made quite a few changes to the personnel," added Callaghan. "Hopefully, the new boys will give everyone a lift. We've had a few disappointing results of late, but we got a decent draw at Cliftonville in the league."

Callaghan, who will be without Daniel Kelly (hamstring); Lee Chapman (knee) and Chris Morrow (ankle), was sent off in last week's Irish Cup thumping defeat at Coleraine - and he's demanding an instant response.

"It was a disappointing performance and I told the boys it was not acceptable," he added. "It was probably the worst display since I've joined the club.

"There were no points lost - that's the only consolation."

Belfast Telegraph

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