Beating Glentoran has changed the mood at Carrick, says Harding
Kieran Harding is thrilled some of the negativity surrounding Carrick Rangers was blown away by the superb 1-0 win at Glentoran.
Harding, who was Ronnie McFall's number two at Portadown, is familiarising himself with a number one role but doom merchants will cast doubt on his ability to keep Carrick in the top flight.
New players have been drafted in but two heavy losses to Glenavon and Crusaders had alarm bells ringing - until the resilient performance at the Oval.
The mood music has changed going into Saturday's big clash with second from bottom Ballinamallard United at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena.
"In this game you need to get wins and send supporters home happy," said Harding.
"I'm thrilled for everyone at the club because people have questioned lots of things that have gone on such as the new team and players coming in.
"There has been a lot of negativity and the win over Glentoran helps alleviate some of that.
"It gets us started and lifts confidence as it has been a tough time. Three points from opening three games is a good return. Glenavon, Crusaders and Glentoran... it doesn't come tougher than that and the three points and clean sheet against Glentoran left me a happy man.
"Ballinamallard, like ourselves, have brought a new manager in and they will be fighting at the end of the table where we are. These games are massive and I was at the nervy and edgy match at the end of last season. It's a massive game for both clubs."
Carrick striker Miguel Chines was the man who broke Glentoran hearts and Harding knows he's working with a real gem.
"The wily old fox who pops up in the box," he said of Chines.
"That's what goalscorers do, sometimes they make little impact other than scoring goals and it's a skill that is hard to buy.
"People will say he's 36 and what contribution does he make? He scores goals."