McDermott hopes Carrick can recapture early-season form
Midfielder Ashton McDermott believes Carrick can recapture their early-season form as they head into 2013.
Rangers haven’t won a league game since September, and were left kicking their heels over the festive period. Last Saturday’s East Antrim showdown against Larne at Inver Park was a washout, meaning this weekend’s game against highly-rated Amateur League outfit Immaculata will be their first competitive outing since the crushing Irish Cup defeat to Lurgan Celtic on December 8.
But McDermott, who attributes the club’s poor run to a ‘dip in form’, believes just one victory could spark a Rangers revival in the New Year.
“We just haven’t played as well,” he said. “It’s simply been a dip in form - both as a team and individually. If we can get a win under our belts, I think we can definitely get on a run again and get a few wins together, progress in the Intermediate Cup and start moving up the league again. Maybe one win would be enough to give us that little bit of confidence back and start playing the way we were at the start of the campaign.
“It was, obviously, very frustrating not having a match at the weekend because everyone wanted to be playing and it’s a bit disappointing - especially because it was a derby. But there is not really much we could have done about it.
“We have to look to this Saturday now and our game in the Intermediate Cup, with a couple of training sessions before that.
“I didn’t expect the game to be off on Saturday. When I woke up there was a bit of rain but I didn’t expect it to be anything to cause the game to be called off. When the text comes through to tell you it’s off, it’s very frustrating.”
While he has never seen them play, the 21-year-old has heard nothing but good reports about Immaculata and their compelling brand of pass-and-move football.
“It will definitely be a tough match but I think we have more than enough to win the game,” he said. “Obviously, all of the reports coming from the Amateur League tell us they are a good side so we will not be taking them lightly.
“They pushed Ards all the way in the semi-final of the Steel and Sons Cup, so they must have good players in their squad.
“I think we will be more confident going into the game. Yes, it’s a tricky tie, but it’s the only Cup we are left in and we want to do well in it. We should have enough to beat them but they will prove tough opposition.”
He added: “I’ll be keen to get back playing competitive football. We have had a few weeks off in December and, because they play on a 3G surface, it’s more than likely that this match will be on. We can prepare for it knowing that we are, pretty much, definitely going to play. It will be good to get back and hopefully get a win under our belts and get going again.”
With Rangers boss Michael Hughes aiming to strengthen the squad in the transfer window, McDermott admitted any new additions will have the players looking over their shoulders. And he has already been impressed with new recruit Sean Friars.
“He has been brilliant since he arrived at the club,” he said. “He has looked really sharp. We have played a couple of friendlies over the Christmas period when a lot of players have been used. Sean is signed and he looks skilful; he’s been playing just off the front man and I think he will be a good signing for the club and help us kick on in January.
“New players coming in will certainly keep everyone on their toes. When you know that you have competition for places and no-one’s guaranteed to start every week, it makes you want to perform that wee bit better. It’s a good thing because it keeps everyone playing at the top level of their game knowing there are others breathing down their necks for places.”
Report by John Gillespie | Twitter: @Times_Sport
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Weather for Carrick
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South