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Carrick's Currie taking nothing for granted with side eyeing big stage

 

Promotion hopes: Carrick Rangers manager Niall Currie
Promotion hopes: Carrick Rangers manager Niall Currie

By Alex Mills

Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie believes tonight's showdown with Ards is still a massive challenge - even though his boys are on the brink of a return to the Danske Bank Premiership.

Rangers travel to the Bangor Fuels Arena with a one goal advantage, courtesy of Michael Smith's strike in Friday night's NIFL promotion/relegation first leg play-off at the Loughshore Hotel Arena.

Although the odds are now stacked firmly in favour of the East Antrim club, a cautious Currie admits he'll be taking nothing for granted, stressing his club are in a position he didn't think possible earlier in the season.

"These guys have been outstanding all season," he said. "We are now only 90 minutes away from the Premier League - it's a massive 90 minutes, make no mistake about that.

"Being in this play-off is something we were not expecting at the start of the season because our form wasn't great.

"We'll be under the cosh against Ards, so we'll have to go there and battle."

Although Ards are now staring down the barrel of relegation, manager Warren Feeney insists his team can repair the damage in front of home fans.

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"Friday night was one of those nights the ball wouldn't go into the net for us," he said. "In saying that, Carrick is a difficult venue to visit.

"Overall, we had enough chances to win the game, so I'm confident we can do it this time - I'm confident going into every game.

"Yes, I was disappointed with the result (on Friday), but I really couldn't fault their effort and commitment.

"I've no doubt we can turn the tables when Carrick come to Bangor."

Ards vs Carrick Rangers

Promotion/Relegation play-off, second leg

Bangor Fuels Arena, Tonight, 7.45pm

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