Carrick boss Niall Currie calling for ‘back-to-basics’ approach at Cliftonville

Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie.
Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie.

Carrick Rangers boss Niall Currie heads to Solitude tonight with a recent victory over Cliftonville still fresh in the minds of his players.

However, Currie admits recent results around that league boost offer cause for concern as Rangers attempt to secure senior safety as quickly as possible.

“We know we can hurt Cliftonville,” said Currie, in the aftermath of Saturday’s Irish Cup exit to Crusaders by 5-1. “But Cliftonville will be hungry for us after the last game.

“Anyone that goes to Solitude knows to expect a difficult night and we have to get back to proving hard to beat.

“We are not defending properly as a unit - from the front, middle or back - and making poor decisions.

“But we look back and have kept eight or nine clean sheets this season in the Premiership so need to reset.

“We must work on shape and get everyone well-drilled,

“I don’t think our first three goals (against Crusaders) were anything to do with shape.

“We went from three at the back to a back four but I don’t think the shape hurt us.

“After the fourth goal went in we had to look at taking off Lee Chapman to avoid a recurrence of his injury.

“When playing three at the back and going 4-1 down then people start doing what they want so it was about trying to shore things up and stop those gaps.

“Those first-half goals were all avoidable, instead you go in 3-1 down at half-time and I didn’t see it as a 3-1 difference.

“We shot ourselves in the foot.

“Then at half-time we talked about the importance of the next goal and concede within five minutes.

“The boys let everyone down today and I will look at myself as well.

“But Chris Rodgers had been out for six weeks and Lee Chapman out for seven weeks, so we had to throw them in to get minutes with Cliftonville in mind.

“So now that’s 69 minutes for Lee and Chris with a full game behind him.”

Carrick hold a 14-point lead over the drop zone - but the Cliftonville victory marks the sole league win in 2020.