Irish Premiership: Crusaders will 'know they're in a game,' says Carrick Rangers boss Currie

Carrick are looking to make it four wins in five games when they host Crusaders on Friday
Carrick are looking to make it four wins in five games when they host Crusaders on Friday
Irish Premiership - Carrick Rangers v Crusaders
Date: Friday, 15 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Match report and highlights on the BBC Sport website.

Carrick Rangers manager Niall Currie says Crusaders 'will know they're in a game' when they travel to Taylor's Avenue on Friday night.

Carrick host the Crues after picking up three wins in their last four Irish Premiership games.

"We know it's a massive ask against Crusaders, who will be hot favourites," said Currie.

"But we're at home and we'll give them a good go and they'll know they're in a game - we like the underdog tag."

Carrick, who lost 3-0 to Crusaders at Seaview on the opening day of the season, have moved into eighth place after home wins against Dungannon Swifts and Warrenpoint Town and away to Ballymena United having lost 2-0 at Linfield.

That surge in form has vaulted Currie's side 12 points clear of basement club Warrenpoint and seven above second-from-bottom Institute ahead of two daunting games against Crusaders and leaders Coleraine on 23 November.

However, Currie insists his players will approach the Crusaders game in buoyant mood after exceeding his expectations.

"We'll go out and have a smile on our face all week, we'll enjoy our training sessions and really look forward to Saturday," said the former Ards and Portadown boss.

"We're sitting in a position that we never thought we'd be in - if you'd said to me at the start of the season that we'd be sitting on 15 points now I would have called you a fool."

Daniel Kelly was on target in Carrick's 2-1 win at Ballymena last time out
Daniel Kelly was on target in Carrick's 2-1 win at Ballymena last time out

Currie, who masterminded another promotion from the Championship after succeeding David McAlinden in the Taylor's Avenue dugout in May 2018, puts his side's form down to 'togetherness'.

"The boys have been amazing and for us, it doesn't come down to ability - it comes down to the togetherness we have in the squad.

"At this present moment, there's a fantastic feeling about the place and we're trying to go in the right direction.

"We want to be a Premiership club and we're in the first phases of trying to do that, but we know how difficult that is.

"Come the end of the season, if we're in the position we're currently in, we'll be absolutely over the moon."

Rolling over is not my style - Gray

Having been outclassed by Cliftonville on his return to Solitude, Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray has called on his players to embrace the challenge of trying to haul themselves out of their relegation dogfight.

'Point have lost six league games on the bounce after picking up their only win of the season - 4-3 over Dungannon Swifts on 5 October - and host unbeaten table-toppers Coleraine at Milltown on Saturday.

"Me and the management team are trying to familiarise ourselves with a group of players that we know nothing about," said Gray.

"A third of our squad are injured so it's difficult. The balance is completely swayed, but do we feel sorry for ourselves and roll over? That's not my style and I don't want it to be their style either.

"Playing Premiership football against Cliftonville or Coleraine is better than playing Championship, or lesser - you've got to be thankful for the opportunity to play against the best."

Irish Premiership - Saturday, 16 November - 15:00 GMT kick-offs unless stated
Carrick Rangers vCrusaders (Friday, 19:45 GMT)
InstitutevLinfield (13:00 GMT)
CliftonvillevBallymena United
Dungannon SwiftsvLarne
Warrenpoint TownvColeraine