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Stars deserve credit in such a gruelling season: Currie


Niall Currie

Niall Currie

�INPHO/Declan Roughan

Niall Currie

Niall Currie has claimed that players in the Irish Premiership deserve great plaudits for their herculean efforts in this congested season.

Carrick Rangers were able to train twice this week for the first time since the start of February, during which period they played 21 matches. And the manager has admitted the non-stop diet of Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday matches has affected the quality on the pitch.

"It's been great to get onto the training pitch for two nights -the first time we've done that in 10 weeks - and it's been a nice break for the players mentally from the constant grind," said Currie.

"Irish League players deserve great credit for what they have done this season, part-time players coming out of work at 5pm and then running themselves into the ground that night.

"There is no longer the same quality at this stage of the season but every player is giving their all. Everybody is striving to see consistency but even the big boys, apart from probably one side, are struggling with that."

Carrick head to Solitude today, a venue where the east Antrim side have picked up just two points from their nine Premiership games and Currie is not expecting it to be any different this time around.

"Cliftonville is always a difficult game and with them pushing for a European place it will be tough," he added. "But this league is tough. At least we're unbeaten in the last two games so it's something to build on and we're looking forward to it."

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Currie was boosted this week by captain Michael Surgenor signing a new one-year deal with the club but the central defender hasn't played since damaging his knee just five minutes into Cliftonville's visit to the Loughshore Hotel Arena at the end of February and it remains touch and go whether he will be involved again this season.

That game ended in a 1-0 win for the Reds but was overshadowed by the controversial red card shown to young Carrick full-back Kurtis Forsythe.

"We were a match for Cliftonville in every department of that game, there was nothing in it and if we perform as well again on Saturday then they'll know they have been in a game," said Currie.

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