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McAlinden slams Carrick players as manager vows to stay on

Dungannon Swifts 4-0 Carrick Rangers

By Adrian Rutherford

David McAlinden has vowed he won't be walking away from Carrick Rangers.

And he has warned his struggling players that they will pay the price - not him - unless their form dramatically improves.

The Co Antrim side crashed to a sixth straight league defeat against Dungannon Swifts, against whom they found themselves three goals down after 25 minutes, finishing the day on the wrong end of a 4-0 hammering.

Angry McAlinden blasted their performance - and warned his squad to up their game or face the axe.

"The first half performance was a disgrace - it was abysmal," he said. "It's simply not good enough and it won't be accepted. I've told them I won't be going anywhere, so they either get with it or they can go. It's as simple as that."

Carrick, second bottom of the league, have won just twice all season.

Here, against a ruthless Dungannon side, they were down and out of it before the half-time whistle sounded.

Ryan Harpur put the home side ahead from the penalty spot after 10 minutes.

He then wrapped up a quickfire hat-trick with two headed goals, before Kris Lowe sealed the rout when his drive was parried into the net by the goalkeeper - summing up a farcical day for Carrick.

McAlinden added: "I'm done listening to excuses. I don't care about talkers, as far as I'm concerned you carry your weight on the football pitch.

"There are very, very few carrying their weight on the pitch. We need a hell of a lot more effort and players who are willing to take responsibility. We can't prepare them any better.

"It is over to them when they cross the white line and we were atrocious today."

This was Dungannon's biggest league win since beating the same opposition by the same scoreline back in April.

Harpur now has four hat-tricks in as many years - quite a feat for a midfielder.

His previous trebles came against Moyola Park in the Irish Cup in early 2014, then Coleraine and Ballymena United in 2016.

The Swifts skipper said: "We started the game very well and it set us up for the rest of the match. We had it won in the first half an hour.

"That's my fourth hat-trick for the club and it's good to get on the scoresheet again.

"The result was the main thing. We've a couple of big games to come against Linfield and Coleraine, so we needed to win this."

DUNGANNON: Addis, Lowe, Armstrong, Clucas, O'Rourke, Wilson (Fitzpatrick, 60 mins), Harpur, Hutchinson, Burke (Lockhart, 71 mins), Mayse (Campbell, 78), Lafferty. Unused subs: McMahon, Teggart.

CARRICK: Doherty, Larmour, Edgar, McMullan, Gage, Surgenor (Hassin, 46 mins), Morrow (Rice, 85 mins), Clarke (Mooney, 31 mins), Smyth, Chapman, McAllister. Unused subs: Maybin, Roy.

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)

Man of the match: Ryan Harpur

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph

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