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Small looks for big reaction to Carrick's 7-0 caning

Carrick Rangers will play Coleraine at Seaview in the Carling Premiership tonight, just 48 hours after their 7-0 defeat to Crusaders at the same venue.

While some managers would have kicked up a stink about playing two games so close together, Carrick boss Stephen Small just sees it as another challenge.

“Two games in two days would be difficult for even the biggest squad in the league to deal with, never mind one of the smallest.

“It’s another obstacle that we have to deal with. I’m not going to cry about the situation. We’re in this league and we’re being tested at every juncture. We just have to get on with it.

“We’ll prepare for the match as normal and hopefully we can get something from it.”

For the Irn-Bru League Cup quarter-final Small rested several key players, including Paul Heatley and Anto Lagan. That move left Carrick exposed, but Small hopes it will pay dividends tonight.

“It’ll be a different game, both in terms of personnel and how we approach the game. The players are in no doubt that we have to add a bit more competitiveness to our performance. I’m certain we will be a lot tighter outfit than we were against Crusaders.”

Despite resting a number of players on Wednesday night, defender David McAlinden, goalkeeper Declan Brown and midfielder Grant Hutchinson are all doubtful for tonight’s game.

But Small believes his side will put in a better performance against Coleraine than they did against Crusaders.

“We are likely to be without our captain David McAlinden, although we will have a few others available who didn’t play in the League Cup. We will get a competitive team together.”

Belfast Telegraph