Carrick Rangers boss Gary Haveron believes it is too early to label Friday night’s basement showdown with Warrenpoint Town as a ‘six-pointer’.
Carrick sit just one point above bottom club Warrenpoint as the scramble for survival continues to unfold.
Victory for either side on Friday would be the perfect tonic as they both look to climb out of the danger zone.
But despite languishing at the bottom end of the table – and with games rapidly running out – Haveron is refusing to press any panic alarms heading into the crunch clash.
“Of course, it is a massive game. But I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a six-pointer,” he said.
“There is still a long way to go this season, and a lot of points to be won and lost.
“We are just treating this as any other game, because they are all important in the Premiership.”
Carrick will be buoyed by Monday night’s Irish Cup win over Crumlin Star which booked Haveron’s side a quarter-final tie with Crusaders.
Their cup progress was tempered by news of Dungannon Swifts and Ballinamallard United both winning in the Premiership – two clubs also embroiled in the relegation battle this season.
“You always keep an eye out for other results, and Dungannon and Ballinamallard but picked up good wins on Monday,” Haveron added.
“But we can’t influence other results. We just have to look after ourselves.
“I have always said that I don’t want Carrick’s fortunes to be dictated by the misfortune of others. If other teams drop points, then obviously it is of benefit to Carrick. But we have to look after our own games, and the table will look after itself after that.
“Friday night is a massive game against Warrenpoint, so all our focus is going into that one.”
Haveron has a clean bill of health for Friday’s game – played at Seaview – with Mark Surgenor, Ben Roy and Kyle Cherry all back from suspension. Joe McNeill also returns.