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Struggling Ards will put things right, vows Taylor

 

By Alex Mills

Ards defender Johnny Taylor admits tonight's game against Glenavon at the Bangor Fuels Arena can't come around quickly enough for his wounded team-mates.

The County Down boys suffered one of their worst defeats of the season at the weekend when they were thumped 4-0 by relegation-threatened Carrick Rangers.

That came on the back of an alarming Irish Cup elimination at Loughgall, when Colin Nixon's team finished with only eight men on the pitch.

Little wonder Taylor and his colleagues are relishing the chance to put things right against Gary Hamilton's high-flying Lurgan Blues.

"The quick turnaround from the weekend suits us fine -the game can't come quickly enough," said Taylor.

"We not only let ourselves down, but we let the manager, the board and the supporters down as well.

"It's been a bad few weeks. We were determined to get the Cup defeat out of our system and were looking for a good performance against Carrick Rangers, but we fell flat.

"They scored early on and, even though we held our own for the rest of the half, when Carrick scored again early after the break it all went downhill. We went from bad to worse.

"The boss wasn't too complimentary afterwards. He had every right to be angry. It just wasn't good enough."

On the plus side, Ross Clarke (left) - who is on loan from Linfield - Kyle Cherry and Michael Ruddy return to the squad for tonight's game.

All three missed the debacle against Carrick as they were red-carded in the previous match.

"We'll have a few players back, which is a boost," said Taylor. "When you take three quality players out of our squad, plus the likes of big Dave Elebert, who is injured, it leaves quite a big hole to fill."

Although Ards sit 10 points ahead of basement side Ballinamallard United in the Danske Bank Premiership table, Taylor insists his team must keep putting points on the board if they are to pull away from the drop zone.

"We looked at the Carrick game as an ideal chance of putting more distance between ourselves and the bottom three clubs," added Taylor.

"But we failed to follow it through, which was annoying. I just can't put my finger on how we contrived to turn in one of our worst displays.

"If we want to climb into mid-table, we have to be beating the teams around us.

"Yes, we have a bit of a cushion in terms of points on Warrenpoint Town and Ballinamallard United, but we can't afford to keep looking down all the time. We must look to catch the teams above us.

"It certainly won't be easy against Glenavon. They have been flying and are coming to our place on the back of a great result at Coleraine.

"They'll obviously look at our recent results and fancy themselves for another three points, so it's up to us to make sure they don't leave with them."

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