Belfast Telegraph

McAlinden eyes breathing space in Carrick's fight against the drop

By Graham Luney

Carrick Rangers boss David McAlinden knows the stakes are high as his side host Ballinamallard United tonight.

A home win would leave basement boys United eight points adrift and facing a long road back to Premiership survival, but if the visitors can secure only their second league win of the season, they will move only two points behind Carrick.

"If you look at the league table there's no escaping the importance of this match," said McAlinden. "You can call it the proverbial six pointer but it's clear that when the bottom four teams play each other it's vitally important that points are won.

"I was disappointed with our performance on Boxing Day. I had hoped we had gained some momentum from the draw with Glentoran but we didn't look energetic enough and weren't on it against Ards.

"It's important that we break that losing habit and we want three points regardless of the opposition. We need something to happen to swing momentum in our favour, and this game gives us a big incentive to make sure that happens.

"Ballinamallard have beaten us this season and they are not a bad side. I don't think there's major differences between the sides in the bottom six apart from maybe two or three players who can make a difference.

"I will look to add one or two players in January as we know we need to drag ourselves out of this play-off position we are in."

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