Title decider? What title decider? Many will view Saturday’s Championship 1 clash against Bangor at Taylor’s Avenue as just that, but Gary Haveron readily dismisses all such talk, with what he says is very good reason.
“I genuinely think the losers, if there are any, will still have a big shout before the silverware is handed out. There are lots of matches still to be played and nothing is certain for anybody in any game in this league,” insists the Carrick Rangers manager.
“With the games we have in hand and anticipating that Bangor won’t win all their remaining ties, I’d certainly not be unduly worried if we came out on the wrong side - and I am sure Bangor would be thinking along the same lines, were they to lose.
“The top four sides all have a tough finish ahead, Bangor with Ards, the Welders twice and Larne in their run-in after Saturday. We have Larne next Tuesday and that’s a hell of a tough test before we take on six teams which are in the bottom half.
“But look at PSNI on Saturday and we still have to go to them later on. They came to us off the back of a victory over Bangor and they are almost unrecognisable from the team that wore those same jerseys before the transfer window opened in January.
“The 2-1 scoreline suggests it was not an easy win, but I would describe it as comfortable in that we should have scored more goals, especially in the second half.
“After taking the lead again, we created lots of chances and their goalkeeper made three stunning saves to deny us, while Brian Neeson didn’t have a shot to save.
“In the first half we started well but lost Glenn Taggart early and that knocked us out of our stride for a little while.
“But we got our noses in front and I thought we would kick on.
“However, we didn’t and they got back into it and we had to make a few changes at half-time to enable us to take control, which we did.
“But, fair play to them, they came here to battle because they are scrapping for every point they can muster and I give them full marks for the effort they made.”
Haveron’s men were set to meet Armagh City on Tuesday night as the two matches per week programme shows no sign of causing them any major concern.