Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Keep close eye on Rainey: Kirk

Lisburn Distillery manager Paul Kirk has warned his players to keep a close eye on Crusaders hot-shot Davy Rainey as he takes his side to Seaview this afternoon.

Kirk has been impressed by the form of Rainey in recent weeks and having criticised his defence for conceding sloppy goals this season, the Whites boss feels they could be punished if they give the ex-Glentoran striker a chance.

"Outside of the top sides you look around teams and you ask 'have they got a player or players who can score goals or change games' and in David Rainey Crusaders have that man," said Kirk.

"You look at Ballymena, they are conceding goals but they also don't have anyone at the minute scoring for them.

"But at Crusaders they are conceding a lot but they have Rainey there who is helping them to make sure that they score more than they concede.

"What they have done this year has been amazing. They have conceded three in two separate games yet still won the games.

"They never give up and have a tremendous will to succeed and that is a great quality to have."

On his own side, Kirk isn't short of matchwinners with Andy Waterworth showing why he is regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in local football.

"Andy came on for the (Northern Ireland) under-21s on Wednesday night and was brilliant," he added. "He changed things for Northern Ireland just like that. The defence didn't know what to do with him - he just has this explosive pace and defenders just find it so difficult to play against him.

"I am happy with the way things have gone this season. We are conceding goals that have been avoidable - like the two last week against Glentoran - but we are playing well and we have to bounce back after last week's defeat.

"It's going to be difficult though as it always has been when you go to Seaview."

The Whites will again be without striker Gary Browne for the trip but midfielder Johnny is back in contention for a starting role having recovered from injury.

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