| 9.8°C Belfast

Cliftonville happy to go unnoticed, says Curran



Going smoothly: Chris Curran is thrilled with the Reds’ form

Going smoothly: Chris Curran is thrilled with the Reds’ form

©INPHO/NTB/Jan Kaare Ness

Going smoothly: Chris Curran is thrilled with the Reds’ form

Versatile Chris Curran is happy for Cliftonville to operate under the radar.

Even though they have lost three of their 15 starts, Paddy McLaughlin's boys are tucked in menacingly, only a point behind high-flying Coleraine at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership table.

The north Belfast team haven't dropped points since September 28 when they lost 2-1 at Ballymena United. That's why the Reds require little motivation when David Jeffrey brings his Sky Blues to Solitude this afternoon.

"We are going very well at the minute and it's important to keep the momentum going," said skipper Curran.

"It's coming into a difficult time, the Christmas period, so we are hoping to rack up as many points as we can.

"We are happy enough to let people talk about Coleraine, Crusaders and Linfield when it comes to naming title candidates.

"It's something we're quite pleased about. We don't mind operating under the radar.

"But we are in a good place at the minute. We are working hard, and results are going our way. We are also getting good performances, which we were not getting at the start of the season.

"To be honest, we are not really worried about what the other teams are doing."

Meanwhile, Jeffrey's wounded warriors have to dig deep and come out firing.

There's a busy treatment room at the Ballymena Showgrounds, where the United boss is searching for fully fit players as well as a return to form.

Supporters are disappointed after the 2-1 home loss to Carrick Rangers last weekend but no one more than Jeffrey and his staff.

Daniel Kelly and Lee Chapman scored either side of Aaron Burns' leveller to give Carrick their third win in four games and leave the Sky Blues searching for inspiration ahead of today's daunting trip to Solitude.

But the former Linfield boss won't let the critics get him down as he plots a revival.

Jeffrey knows criticism is inevitable but he needs the players to show their character and mettle.

Four wins in 14 Premiership outings is not acceptable for a club with European ambitions but the United boss feels everyone must stick together.

"It's not a nice feeling," he admitted. "But some supporters do have very short memories. These boys have been in since the first week in June. They have been through two rounds of Europe, they have forgotten how far they have come. At times like this the players have to stand up and be counted.

"But one really bright spot (against Carrick) was young Kenny Kane (who replaced the injured Cathair Friel).

"He's just out of junior football but did tremendously well leading the line, so that's what was most encouraging.

"But as I said to the players, if they showed they didn't care in the second half then you do really have to ask questions but that was not the case."

Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.

Already have an account?

Belfast Telegraph