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Let’s get a form grip: Donaghey

Brian Donaghey admitted Carrick Rangers were full value for yesterday’s win and has called on Cliftonville to rediscover their festive form.

The Reds slipped to a sluggish 1-0 defeat at the Loughshore Hotel Arena where, despite an encouraging start to the second-half, the team failed to generate any kind of sustained rhythm and ulimately went down to Lloyd Anderson’s 65th minute finish.

Assistant Manager Donaghey paid credit to the Gers’ performance but acknowledged that the visitors – who have now suffered consecutive Danske Bank Premiership losses after being overcome by Linfield earlier in the week – dropped their standards.

“We were expecting a bit of a bounce after Monday night,” he said. “It’s a difficult place to come and we always thought one goal was going to win the game.

“They got it and defended well. They soaked up pressure and hit us on the break.

“We thought going in 0-0 at half-time and playing downhill in second-half would give us more momentum, but it didn’t happen.

“When they scored, they had something to defend. They put their bodies on the line and broke on us a few times.

“We were well below par. Credit to Carrick, they looked the hungrier throughout which was disappointing and poor from us.

“We need to get back to where we were three or four weeks ago.”