We still need to show Crues' winning mentality, insists Cliftonville boss Lyttle
Cliftonville 1-0 Carrick Rangers
Cliftonville may have returned to winning ways at the expense of Carrick Rangers on Saturday, but it's clear the spectre of last week's north Belfast derby shocker continues to linger over them.
Determined to build on the positives that shot them into a 3-0 lead against Crusaders -rather than the horrors of the four-goal capitulation that followed - the Reds were in glittering form against struggling Rangers, who had goalkeeper Brian Neeson to thank for keeping the hosts' margin of victory to a minimum.
Davy McDaid pounced for the only goal of the game 11 minutes from time and boss Gerard Lyttle, whose side were praised for their mesmeric passing display by Crues supremo Stephen Baxter last week, said Cliftonville must continue to learn the lessons of their derby day defeat.
"Stephen Baxter complimented us on our performance and my compliment back to him is that we need to follow Crusaders' example when it comes to winning mentality," he said.
"They have that in abundance and showed it in the way they came back from 3-0 down. Yes, we have issues with how sloppy their goals were from our point of view - plus questions of offside and fouls on the keeper -but you have to credit them for what they did.
"We played well up to a point and, as a group, we spoke about the importance of taking the positives with us into the Carrick game and eradicating the negatives. I feel we did that and, strange as it might be to say when Carrick have hit the woodwork three times, I always thought we were comfortable.
"We could have done with a second goal just to make sure, but we did very well from the start and our performance was a joy to watch."
Rangers' caretaker manager Glenn Taggart - whose charges hit the bar via Adam Salley and the post with efforts from Martin Murray and Nathan Hanley - was pleased with the visitors' battling display.
"We had a game plan and that was to frustrate Cliftonville," he admitted. "They're a great passing side, so difficult to play against sometimes. We wanted to keep things tight and limit them as best we could.
"They say winning's a habit but losing can be as well. It might take an own goal, a deflection, a fluky penalty or something like that - but I feel if we can just get even a draw from somewhere, that will stop the rot and allow us to try and build something."
CLIFTONVILLE: Burke, McGovern, Ives, McGuinness, Knowles, M Donnelly, Hughes, Harkin, Winchester, J Donnelly, Cosgrove. Subs: Bonner, McDaid (Hughes, 61 mins), Garrett (Winchester, 77 mins), A Mooney, G Donnelly (M Donnelly, 90 mins).
CARRICK: Neeson, McKeown, Surgenor, McNally, McCullough, Morrow, Salley, TJ Murray, Wilson, Hanley, M Murray. Subs: Taggart, Waide (Hanley, 82 mins), Chapman, Rice (Wilson, 64 mins), Lavery (Morrow, 79 mins).
REFEREE: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus)
MAN OF THE MATCH: Brian Neeson
MATCH RATING: 7/10