Belfast Telegraph

Curran won't let the Reds get carried away


By Billy Weir

After their somewhat up and down start to the campaign, Cliftonville travel to Glentoran today looking for a fourth Danske Bank Premiership win on the trot.

It's all a far cry from the wailing and gnashing of teeth surrounding Barry Gray's team a few short weeks ago and it is no coincidence that the upturn in fortunes has come as skipper Chris Curran enjoys a real purple patch.

Scoring and creating goals and leading by example in the middle of the park, Curran is happy that the tide seems to have turned but he knows that a trip to The Oval is never one to take for granted.

"We're not starting celebrating or losing the run of ourselves over anything but we are encouraged by the past few weeks," he explained. "We've had a few good results and we've worked really hard after the start we had and put things right. Hopefully we're going in the right direction but there's still a lot to do.

"A lot of players have come in, really good players, and there has been a bit of a change in the way that he (Gray) wants us to play and that does take time, but at the same time we should have been playing better than we have been.

"It won't be easy on Saturday, we're not silly enough to say that it will be, because they will be really up for it and really hurting after their last performance, so we're taking nothing for granted. There's always a bit of bite to the game, it's never easy and it's a hard place to go."

Curran was on target in last week's gritty win over Warrenpoint Town, bagging his third goal of the campaign, although he admitted it should have come a little earlier.

"I missed an absolute sitter last week, it was a look up to the sky moment but lucky enough Jude (Winchester) played a great ball through for the second one and I was relieved more than anything to score," he added.

"When you look at the players we have up top, I never thought I would have to worry about having to score goals but it does help, to chip in and take a wee bit of pressure off them because there is so much attention given to them and I'm sure opposing managers highlight them before games. We fly under the radar a bit as midfielders so if we do chip in with a few goals it is a bonus."

The extra burden of captaincy is one he is also relishing, but will be more than happy to hand the armband back when Ryan Catney is ready to return.

"It's not something I ever expected," he admitted. "Last season, Skin (former manager Ger Lyttle) gave it to me and I do enjoy it, but Ryan is our club captain and I'm looking forward to him coming back and then I can get on with business. I won't be arguing with him when he comes back but it's a great honour to have it"

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