League Cup Final: Chris Curran believes something big is brewing

Chris Curran feels there is the potential for “something big to happen” at Cliftonville under the current regime.

By Steven Crawford
Saturday, 12th March 2022, 12:00 pm

The Reds are potentially heading for an unbelievable season as they continue to fight on all three fronts.

Curran knows a thing or two about bringing silverware to Solitude.

Since joining in 2013, the club captain has helped Cliftonville win one league title, three League Cups and two County Antrim Shields.

Chris Curran feels the Reds are on the verge of something big

The majority of those trophies came under the late Tommy Breslin in what was such a successful spell for the club.

Curran, though, feels the Reds are close to another memorable period in their history under current boss Paddy McLaughlin.

“This process started back in 2019, I think it was February when Paddy came in,” he said.

“You have felt progress every year, and now you do feel there’s a good blend of youth and experience.

“It does feel like we have turned a corner in terms of the signings that Paddy has made in the summer...it has lifted us to a new level.

“But year in, year out it does feel that we are making progress and that’s what you want to see and feel.

“You want to feel that the work you’re doing is contributing to something bigger and it does feel that there’s the potential for something big to happen.

“We’re definitely not getting carried away though.

“Something which has been spoken about in our changing room is that even with the brilliant position we’re in there’s a chance we could finish the season empty-handed and what a disappointment that would be.

“We haven’t won any competition yet, we’re not top of the league, we haven’t qualified for Europe, we haven’t done anything even for all the talk and hope there is.

“So we just have to make sure we convert all that open optimism into something tangible and win trophies.

“We obviously have an opportunity to do that now.”

Coleraine stand in the way for the first part of a potential ‘Treble’ for the Solitude outfit.

In recent years the Bannsiders have been the team carrying the fight to the so-called big guns, and Curran can see a lot of similarities between the clubs.

“When you look at the support bases, both clubs have really close links to the fans and you can feel that,” he said.

“Certainly here at Solitude you can feel that with our fans and when you go up to The Showgrounds you can definitely feel their support pushing them on in games.

“Both are part-time clubs trying to compete with the full-time teams in the league, both have young ambitious managers...even newly-laid surfaces.

“So I definitely there’s a mutual respect between the two clubs and both sets of players.

“I think we all do feel we’re punching above our weight in terms of the other full-time outfits around us.”

Curran knows he may have to settle for a place on the bench tomorrow due to the form of the squad at present, but he is more than happy to play a part if he can help bring success to the club.

“You can be very comfortable playing every minute of every game, which I probably have done for a few years,” he said.

“It’s a hard balance to strike if I’m not playing as much as I have done in recent years, but that’s because we’re challenging now for every competition we’re in.

“So if it’s a choice between playing every single minute and maybe not challenging or playing your part and challenging I think I’d go for the latter.”