Belfast Telegraph

Miskimmin's attitude reaps big dividends

By Keith Thomas

Oran Kearney believes striker Mark Miskimmin is buying into what his Coleraine master plan is all about.

And Saturday's hat-trick hero isn't the only one earning plaudits from the Bannsiders boss, who watched his side dismantle Institute with a clinical second half performance at the Showgrounds to deliver a sixth win in eight league games.

And the secret of this recent success?

"There is a positivity in the dressing room that pervades everything and its the togetherness the players are displaying that is helping generate solid contributions from every single one of them," says content Kearney.

While he was prepared to publicly pat Miskimmin on the back for scooping up his treble chance, Kearney also saluted the impressive non-stop effort of defender turned midfielder Howard Beverland.

If he has taken a gamble on bringing Miskimmin to the club after understated spells at Linfield, Glenavon, Donegal Celtic and Glentoran, then he has equally taken a calculated risk in moving captain Beverland from central defence to a dominant spot in front of the back four, adding steel to his ever improving midfield.

Having played with Miskimmin at the Blues, Kearney says there was no uncertainty in his mind because he knew the person.

"I know there is a footballer in there," he adds.

"He has a lot of quality about him and he can finish chances. I see it in training as he gets fitter, week by week you see more of it.

"The biggest question for me, though, was would he buy into what we are trying to achieve because there is an honesty about the entire team in relation to how hard they want to work.

"In his first week or two, he saw other players get past him to chase a chance and suddenly the penny dropped and he now has a good grasp of what we are about."

Beverland's change is also paying dividends, with Kearney continuing: "I've been trying to do it for ages but we always had a crisis at the back and he had to either stay in central defence or move out to right back but now its happened it's amazing.

"Howard has taken to the role so well. People forget how much experience he has in the league. I just felt it was right for him. He has enough football in him to dictate in the position and he even gets into the box and makes a nuisance of himself."

Defender David Ogilby headed Coleraine into a 31st minute lead before Shane McGinty and Ian Parkhill teed up Miskimmin for his second half spree, which ended in a quality finish from the spot in injury time after defender Mark Scoltock had taken Parkhill out inside the box and picked up a straight red card for his troubles.

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