Belfast Telegraph

Larne boss McAlinden backs his players to have say in title race

Lisburn Distillery 0 Larne 4

By Keith Bailie

Larne boss David McAlinden believes that his club will play a part in deciding the destiny of the Belfast Telegraph Championship One trophy.

After Saturday's hugely impressive 4-0 win over Lisburn Distillery at New Grosvenor, the Invermen find themselves in third place, six points behind league leaders Bangor.

Manager McAlinden said: “I'm not in the game of making predictions, for me it's all about working hard and getting the right results. Obviously I'm not going to say we're out of it when we're six points behind the leaders with six games to play, but I don't spend much time worrying about what's going on here or there, we just focus on doing our best on a Saturday and a Tuesday.

“We've done well and we are certainly in the mix. We've got games against Carrick, Bangor and the Welders left so we will certainly have a say in the destination the title.

“Personally I think the title race will go right to the wire, which might not be ideal for the managers, but I think it's good for the league and good for the fans.”

On Saturday, Larne brushed aside the Whites thanks to a brace from the in-form Ciaran Murray, while Stuart McMullan and Darren Stuart also found the net.

McAlinden believes the partnership of strikers Ciaran Murray and Paul Maguire has played a big part in Larne's title push.

“We've actually played better this season, but I'm not going to complain about a 4-0 win away from home. As a manager, you can't really ask for any more than that.

“Ciaran Murray scored another two goals for us, which leaves him with five in the last two games. When he plays up top with Paul Maguire he seems to find an extra level. They are two totally different types of player, which means they compliment each well. They're also friends off the park, which helps.”

On Tuesday night, Larne travel to Castlederg to take on Dergview, who remain unbeaten at Darragh Park in the league. McAlinden is not concerned about making such a long journey during the week.

“We've known about it for a few weeks, so we are well prepared. I'm not going to make any excuses about travelling, it's just another game as far as I'm concerned. We're prepared for the game and we're going down there to try and take three points.

“They have a great record at home in the league, but we did beat them there in the Irish Cup, so we can take some heart from that. At this stage of this season, there are no surprises. We know all about them and they know all about us.”

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