Ballinamallard United’s Loen Carters insists the Premiership new-boys are targeting a top six finish.
The Mallards travel to Stangmore Park for a festive derby clash against Dungannon Swifts on Boxing Day.
Even though Whitey Anderson’s team have slipped to sixth in the table following three successive defeats, Carters maintains his team have the character to turn things around.
“There’s a great team spirit – we are all in this together,” he said.
“Yes, we have suffered three defeats in a row now, but we have played some quality sides, including Linfield and Cliftonville. So we are not totally deflated.
“There is a lot of character and quality in this team. Cliftonville are a good side, but I felt that in the first half we showed them a bit too much respect. The second half was a different game.
“We now face another demanding task at Dungannon,” added Carters.
“We’ve played together for a number of years so we know each other inside out and the whole back four have been playing quite well, but of late we have conceded a couple of goals which is not doing ourselves justice.”
Meanwhile, Swifts boss Darren Murphy insists it’s crucial to take advantage of a big festive home crowd.
“There should be a big holiday crowd,” he said. “Games like this give us the chance to pick up some positive results and put a by of daylight between ourselves and the bottom two.”