After a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Crusaders earlier in the season, Carrick boss Gary Haveron insists his team must give a better account of themselves when the two sides meet at Taylor’s Avenue on Saturday (3pm).
Haveron has openly said the drubbbing at Seaview is the only time he felt his menhave failed to compete since their return to the top flight. Ex-Carrick winger Paul Heatley was their tormentor-in-chief that day, rattling in four goals before Andrew Mitchell wrapped things up with number five.
And Haveron knows he’s faced with the difficult task of trying to contain Stephen Baxter’s boys all over again.
“It’s an incredibly tough ask for us. The Crues are a top side and they have a blueprint of how to win games of football,” he said. “People talk about their direct style, but it works wonders for them and they have some fantastically talented footballers. They can play either way: they can go long and direct, and they can play a bit when they want to.
“Dungannon pushed them very close on Saturday but the Crues showed what a championship-winning team is all about.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice when we went to Seaview earlier in the season; we got off to a terrible start. Everything Heatley hit caught the back of our net! We have to give a better account of ourselves this time around.”
Offering his reaction to Tuesday’s Irish Cup fifth-round draw, which sees Carrick travel to Banbridge Town on January 9, Haveron added: “We’ve got to be happy with it. Although it has potential to be a banana-skin [tie], when we’ve been drawn away from home we want to play a team from the lower leagues. Banbridge are a Championship 2 side -and a good one at that.”