Just as the Larne manager insisted last year that they wouldn’t be enveloped in euphoria after a big opening day victory, Davy McAlinden’s message is that they won’t be shrouded in deflation because of Saturday’s hefty setback in Castlederg.
“Plum bottom of the table after the 3-0 defeat to Dergview, I suppose you could say the only way is up now,” sighed the Inver boss, who wasn’t belittling the disappointment because he admits both the result and performance were something of a shock to the system.
“Obviously, it was a big blow and I think it’s fair to say that nobody saw it coming - especially after the preparations and the way things had gone in pre-season.
“There are no recriminations, whatever happened on Saturday or in the future. This is a one-for-all and all-for-one situation. Whether one player or all 11 are to blame for a disappointment, we are all in it together and I am as much responsible as anybody.
“It’s not about whether you suffer a hefty defeat that matters most, the key issue is how you react to it and we are getting a quick opportunity to make amends when we play our second league match on Wednesday night.
“In a way, it’s a new start - our first home match. Every team wants to make all their rivals fear coming to their home ground and making Inver Park a fortress is very important to us, so the game against Knockbreda was always going to be of immense importance.
“But there’s now added pressure on us to prove that Saturday was a one-off and we are much better than that. We knew going to Dergview would be tough and they were deserving winners as they played much better than we did.
“However, there’s no doubting that we didn’t do ourselves justice at all. But, just as I warned last year that we’d not be getting carried away when we beat Ballyclare 4–1 on the opening day, I want to stress that we won’t be down in the dumps because of an early setback.
“We can prove that in our two home games this week, the Knockbreda match brought forward to Wednesday because of the Steel and Sons Cup match against Ballymoney United on Saturday. Hopefully, it will be onwards and upwards.”