Niall Currie spent his playing career as a goalkeeper searching for a striker’s flaws, with large parts of his Irish League managerial career now spent devoted to searching for a striker’s value.
Aware of the importance of an individual’s ability to score goals to help a team’s ability to achieve goals, history shows promotion can hang on defensive strength not to lose but relegation often comes down to a decisive goal threat guiding the way to safety.
Guillaume Keke’s summer arrival served to increase newly-promoted Rangers’ attacking threat for life at the top table and he celebrated his first Premiership goal for the club in the weekend loss at Glentoran.
It provided a personal reward for a player who, overall, offered hope of an enhanced end product.
“Keke’s been fantastic from we put him into the team,” said Carrick Rangers boss Currie. “He’s strong, he’s a handful and deservedly got his goal against Glentoran.
“We need goals from other areas too, I’ve challenged the attacking midfielders to weigh in with eight to 10 this season.
“The partnership with Stewart Nixon and Keke was exciting at the Oval, plus Michael Smith came on and done well.
“We’ve another player in Sachem Wilson hopefully available soon, he’s been in the Netherlands but is signed and he will give us another option.”
Dungannon Swifts boss Kris Lindsay may view the gap between the top-flight’s top teams and the rest as on the rise - but he is refusing to accept a drop in standards as a result.
Four of the Swifts’ five Danske Bank Premiership defeats have arrived to the table’s leading four sides, with the exception a shock loss to bottom-based Warrenpoint Town from a 2-0 winning position.
Now the Swifts visit a Carrick Rangers side promoted into the senior standings and predicted to share the second half of the final table alongside Dungannon.
Losing to clubs with superior resources fails to take the sting out of defeat for Lindsay and he is determined to delete the errors he cites as central to any disappointments.
“We need to make it much harder for opponents to score against us, no matter the standard,” said Lindsay. “It is true that the gulf between the top teams and rest is getting bigger and bigger but against any side you get punished for mistakes.
“It is not about feeling sorry for any setbacks, it is about picking out the positives then finding ways to improve and progress.
“We also must prove more clinical in front of goal.”