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World Cup 2018

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Carrick players need to believe in themselves, challenges boss ahead of Glentoran tie

By Steven Beacom

Carrick Rangers manager Davy McAlinden will tell his players not to show Glentoran too much respect tonight in their Bet McLean League Cup meeting.

McAlinden wants his team to have more belief in themselves feeling they have the ability to take on sides like the Glens in cup competitions and pull away from relegation trouble in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Carrick are third bottom in the league with Ards just above them and Warrenpoint Town and Ballinamallard below them.

While McAlinden acknowledges that staying up is the priority for the season, he would love Carrick to go far in one of the knockout competitions - as they did last term when reaching the League Cup final.

"We didn't have a game on Saturday so we have had longer to focus on Glentoran," said McAlinden.

"We have been there before this season when we got a draw in the league and probably felt we should have got a bit more.

"I'm looking for the boys to impose themselves on the game. I think sometimes we are giving teams too much respect and allowing them to play far too easy.

"What we are looking for is the belief to shine through because the effort and attitude is there for all to see. If we have more belief I feel we can pick up more positive results.

"We will be going to The Oval positive in our approach."

In the league, Carrick will host Dungannon Swifts on Saturday knowing it is a chance to pick up points on at least one of their relegation rivals Warrenpoint and Ballinamallard, who face each other on Friday night.

In Carrick's previous game - a 2-2 draw away to Warrenpoint - it was played at a crackling tempo and had the feel of a final match of the campaign decider with the Amber Army roaring their team on to a vital point late on. McAlinden insists, however, that he is not feeling any heat in the battle to stay up.

"I don't feel any type of pressure. When we lost four games in a row I didn't feel any pressure. I just want the boys to do themselves justice," he said.

"I'm of the belief that we have enough about us that we won't feel the pressure that comes with being down there at the end of the season.

"We have to keep putting in decent performances, and with more belief we will get better results.

"I do see it as a four-horse race at the bottom and we need to win that league and to do that we will need strong characters.

"Our supporters will also help. The Carrick fans are brilliant. They have been superb since I took over as manager.

Belfast Telegraph

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