Everybody knows Larne have it all to do to make a top-four finish in the fiercely competitive Championship 1, but the manager is ruling nothing out - while still reluctant to set any target for his team.
After Larne’s bright start to the season, boss Davy McAlinden said he would not contemplate stating aims and felt it would time enough to start looking at the possible finishing positions come March. Well, Spring has sprung and he’s happy to talk about it now.
“We are doing extremely well and I just want us to keep it going as we have been doing. And it promises to be a great run-in. I’m really looking forward to these last eight matches,” said McAlinden.
“Look at the table and the top three teams have all played 18 games, while the Welders have three in hand and Carrick have four more than us to play. Games in hand is all very well, but they are not the same as points on the board.
“We want to stay in there fighting and we must try to win every point we can. It’s all very well to say that it’s great to be in with a chance of finishing fourth and it will be much better than last year. None of that stuff interests me. We have to be thinking we can still get in the mix.”
McAlinden says if his side can do well over the next four games it could all get very tense in the run-in. “It would suddenly be really exciting for the Larne supporters because we have Bangor, Carrick and the Welders in the last four matches, as well as being home to PSNI. Whatever happens, we will be having a big say in the finishing places for all of those teams - and, consequently Carrick as well,” he said.
“So, starting with Saturday’s home tie against Armagh City, I hope the players will prove me right in thinking they are made of stern stuff and can make some leeway into the distance we are behind the leaders - nine adrift of Bangor and four behind Ards.
“Let’s see where we go this weekend and then look at the match against Lisburn Distillery the following weekend and do that week on week. Don’t forget the others are all playing one another at times and they can’t all get three points.”
He added: “As I have said, there are two sets of matches for us.
“The next four are all about consolidating our position and if we can manage that, it will be a hell of a last four fixtures to look forward to for everybody at the club.”