Carrick boss Niall Currie and Ards manager Warren Feeney are ready for vital play-off showdown

Warren Feeney
Warren Feeney

Niall Currie knows his side will have to be at their best as they face Ards on Friday night in the first leg of their NIFL Premiership Play-off clash.

Fresh from beating Portadown on Tuesday night , Carrick Rangers are now preparing for a two-legged showdown with Ards to determine who will play in the Premiership next season.

And Currie says his side deserve to be given the chance of playing in the top division.

“We got our just rewards against Portadown for the season we put in. That season fully merits a play-off place against Ards.

“It can be organised however anyone wants but I just think it is tough for us.

“To realise, after such a convincing season and second-place finish, we had one more cup final to come.”

And Currie it is a strange encounter as he was manager at Ards in the past

“I had six wonderful years at Ards and it doesn’t give me any pleasure to see that club in a play-off position to be honest. Obviously time moves on and they are in a good place with Warren Feeney at the minute and I’m in a good place here at Carrick.

“We are going to give it everything, our players do not know anything different.

“If we can get the batteries recharged and get our best team out again it will be a good game.

“All we’ve got to do now is to rest up as dealing with three games in such a short space of time is demanding physically.

“We don’t need team talks any more, our changing room looks after itself now.

“I’ve nothing but pride in my players as good, honest individuals who work their socks off and do not get the credit for ability either.”

And Ards boss Warren Feeney expects that Carrick will be no pushover when the two sides collide this evening.

“Carrick finished 13 points ahead of Portadown and in all honesty they’ve earned the right to have their chance to get into the big league,” he continued.

“We’ve had them watched plenty of times and they’re a very good side.

“They’ve a lot of players who have played in the Premiership before.

“I’m sure they will have had us watched plenty of times as well and obviously with Niall being a previous manager here he will know the ins and outs of our club.

“Niall has got them very well organised and we know it’s going to be a very difficult game for us.

“I believe the gap between the sides really isn’t that big at all - and I used to say that to teams in England about clubs coming up from non-league,” he said to BBCNI.