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'I'm a summer guy': Niall Currie lends support to Irish League season switch after win over Crusaders continues Carrick's good form



Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie would love nothing more than to be swapping his bobble hat for a sombrero on the sidelines.

Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie would love nothing more than to be swapping his bobble hat for a sombrero on the sidelines.

Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie would love nothing more than to be swapping his bobble hat for a sombrero on the sidelines.

Carrick Rangers may be in fine form as their 3-1 win at Seaview on Saturday made it seven points from their last three outings, but the manager would be enjoying even more if he could break out his summer wardrobe!

Niall Currie watched his side leapfrog Dungannon Swifts on goal difference to finally climb off bottom spot, condemning the Crues to a second successive home defeat in the process.

Afterwards, the former Portadown chief was asked about Mick McDermott's midweek plea for a 'serious discussion' on a shift in the Irish League calendar.

"I'm a summer guy, by all means," he told the Radio Ulster reporter. "I have been for quite a while.

"Those were 22 brave players out there today. It's a tough gig but it's the time of year.

"Nothing pleases me more than going to a pre-season game even in a t-shirt, pair of shorts and pair of flip-flops to watch a game of football. You're sitting with a hat, gloves and snood on today so maybe you would agree!"

In a Sunday Life survey last month, Currie's club were one of only three, along with Glenavon and Ballymena United, that were dead against a move to summer football, with the remaining nine willing to entertain further discussions.

On Saturday, a Jonny Frazer double and a late Caolan Loughran penalty were enough to secure success, with Philip Lowry having brief brought the Crues back into the game at 2-1 before Jordan Forsythe was sent off for conceding that late spot-kick.

It's the first time since August 2017 that Carrick have avoided defeat in three successive Premiership outings and, according to the boys, it's well deserved after last weekend's win at Dungannon and the midweek draw at home to Linfield.

"Since the Glentoran game, we've been playing really well," he said. "We hadn't been getting the results, and it's a results business as we all know, but our performance against Dungannon was good and we put in a great performance against Linfield.

"The boys have a bit of confidence about themselves now and a bit of belief. If you can get a point against Linfield, and a fully deserved one, on a cold Tuesday night then you've got to come to places like this and believe in yourself.

"I think it showed today, we had a real threat. When we had to defend when we were super and when we broke away we had pace and we made the right decisions.

"Ultimately it has taken us a long time to get a fully fit Jonny Frazer, Alex Gawne came on today and then JJ Jenkins and Cathair (Friel) give us four of what we regard as real threats. It makes a big difference in the final third of the pitch. Our midfield, back five and wings backs were superb to a man today.

"We created good chances and I have nothing but praise for the boys."

Crusaders hadn't been beaten at home since December 2019 until Linfield's win at Seaview last weekend but yet have now lost two on the bounce.

"When you come to Seaview, you expect your goalkeeper to have a busy day but we played in the right areas, travelled well with the ball, our link-up play was fantastic and we carried a real threat in behind," Currie continued. "I thought our strikeforce had the Coleraine defence on the back foot, playing down the sides of the centre-halves. On the break, we looked fantastic but possession-wise we did well as well.

"I was happy about the first 10 or 15 minutes because we got too deep but we ended up being a wee bit brave, pushing our two strikers, our number 10 higher and getting our wing-backs up to engage in the right areas.

"By doing that, it means when the ball breaks down we have a chance to break and that's what happened.

"We picked up a lot of second ball through being brave in our lines. You have to be brave to come to Seaview and do that."

Captain Mark Surgenor was withdrawn and Currie says he's hoping his influence centre-half won't miss much football.

"He's been a wonderful player for this club, he leads us very well and he's been playing absolutely super. We're hoping it's only minor and we can get him back playing as soon as possible," he said.

Belfast Telegraph