Carrick can get a good run going, says Mark Surgenor
Mark Surgenor insists Carrick Rangers have more quality than they did two years ago and the captain is positive they will not make an instant return to the Championship.
A Jude Winchester goal was enough to give Ballymena United victory at the Belfast Loughshore Arena on Friday night - the 10th time in 13 Premiership outings that Rangers have lost by a single strike.
That pattern contributed to their relegation in 2018, but Surgenor insists: "When we do turn the corner, we will go on a run ourselves".
He added: "We have a positive changing room in there. We have been a match for everyone but we can't allow ourselves to fall into being nearly men again. We nearly got a result against Crusaders, against Larne, against Cliftonville and now against Ballymena.
"People say you have to win the matches against teams around you, we know our next match against Warrenpoint is massive, they know it and Institute know it.
"We're the three teams who will be battling at the bottom. But what will define us is getting points off the Glenavons, Coleraines, Glentorans at home. They are the games we have to win. I'm positive, the gaffer is positive, we just need to put the ball in the back of the net."
To that end, Gers boss Niall Currie has added former Cliftonville and Ards striker Guillaume Keke to the ranks and, while he could be set for his debut when Carrick face Warrenpoint in a fortnight, Ballymena will be without Jonny Addis for Saturday's home clash with the same opponents after he was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Lee Chapman.
Surgenor had sympathy for the Sky Blues defender.
"Never in a million years was that a sending off" he said. "I think Steven (Gregg, the referee) and the linesman were both on the wrong side, but I had a perfect view."