Haveron has reasons to be cheerful
One game at a time is the clichéd position of football managers at all levels when title talk is broached and Carrick boss Gary Haveron is not out of step.
But at least he concedes that the picture has changed dramatically in the last couple of weeks and their dream of returning to the Premiership is alive and kicking.
“Promotion was the aim from the outset of the campaign and it has remained that way the whole season through. We have never drifted away from that target. Cup competitions are all very well, but the league was always the priority,” said the Larne native.
“And I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s great that things are now back in our own hands because we know that if we win the last five games we will win the title.”
He added: “But I would caution that we will be taking things a game at a time because our total concentration has to be the next job in hand and that will be away to Ballyclare Comrades next Saturday at Dixon Park. I wish it was this weekend because, when you play as well as we did on Saturday in the big win over Bangor, you can’t get the next match to come quickly enough.
“It was a fantastic performance against Bangor and, while 3-0 was terrific, we could have won by far more because Graeme Arthur had a super goal from an overhead kick disallowed, while Richard Gibson missed one he’d normally put away, and we had a penalty saved and there were two or three other chances which were spurned.
“I heard a guy on the radio say Bangor were missing three or four players. What he didn’t mention was that we were without suspended Ben Roy, Adam Dick who was sick, the injured Ciaran Donaghy and Anto Lagan who is also out through injury,” explained Haveron, who says the clean sheet situation has been a crucial factor.
After 10 matches in which not one clean sheet was achieved, three of the last four games have seen the opposition scoreless, with the exception being the 1-0 defeat by Dundela.
“If you don’t concede you won’t be beaten and that was something we had to address alright, and we worked hard in doing so.”