Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie is calling on his players to provide some home comfort tonight off the back of the midweek Bangor blues.
A League Cup exit away to Bangor served as a knockout blow for a Carrick side short of the characteristics which secured promotion out of last season’s Bluefin Sport Championship on to the senior stage.
Having lost out to Crusaders, Larne and Cliftonville - three teams tipped to impress across the top flight - alongside a defeat of Institute, Carrick now prepare to host another high-profile opponent in Ballymena United still nursing the pain of that Bangor reverse.
“We made changes and missed players due to injury but were well beaten and we thrive on passion and togetherness but were well short on Tuesday,” said Currie. “We owe the supporters and I trust my boys to bounce back.
“We know we are facing a superb Ballymena side but ask this season no opponent enjoys the idea of coming to our patch.
“Not many will give us a chance but our aim is to go out on the frontfoot and give it everything.”
Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey is aware of the threat posed by Carrick.
“Niall Currie has done a superb job and created a Carrick side representing his values of hard work and commitment,” said the United boss. “We anticipate a really tight hard-fought battle at a tough venue.
“I can never recall getting it easy at that ground, going back to my Linfield days.
“It is not a case of extra motivation off the back of losing to Glentoran last weekend as you cannot live in such a competitive league week to week.
“It is a long season and all we ask is the players give their best for the club.”