Stuart King is calling on Carrick to step it up once again for Coleraine duel

New Carrick Rangers manager Stuart King was delighted to see his players claim their first win in midweek but knows they will need to play even better this afternoon when Coleraine visit the Loughshore Hotel Arena.

1-0 victory against a very poor Warrenpoint side was the least that Rangers deserved on Tuesday night, but after the disappointment of last week’s narrow defeat by Cliftonville, King admits the first home match was all about getting off the mark.

“It was just about getting the three points. It was our first home game in front of the fans and the boys stood up and performed, especially after playing so well against Cliftonville and not getting anything from it. So it was important to get up and running, especially with Coleraine next up,” said the boss.

“I watched them against Larne in the first game of the season, a real exciting game. They are full of quality players and I know we are going to have to up our game again if we are going to get anything out of it.

“They are one of the top two teams in the country, but my boys have stepped up and hopefully can do it again.”

It has been a busy summer for King as he revamped a squad which finished one from bottom in the Danske Bank Premiership last season and he is delighted with his intake.

“I let a lot go but have brought in real quality. Jim Ervin has been top drawer and big Lee (McNulty) steps up every time I ask and in Stewart Nixon, Emmett McGuckin and Ben Tilney we have really improved the squad,” King added.

“We’re not one of the top four or five teams but we needed a lot more pace in the team and I think we’ve got it.”

With goalkeeper Aaron Hogg hitting his knee on the perimeter wall on Tuesday night — he was substituted at half-time — King moved quickly to sign Neil Shields from Crusaders before the transfer window closed, and he is available for today’s game.

David Cushley, who was withdrawn against Cliftonville with a groin strain, should also be ready to return.

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