Belfast Telegraph

Wins needed for Col title tilt: Kearney

By Stuart McKinley

Oran Kearney has laid down a challenge to his stuttering Coleraine squad — give me a win.

The Bannsiders boss delivered a verbal pat on the back to his players for the attitude they have shown over a frustrating four-week period since their fantastic 3-2 win over Linfield, during which time they have recorded four successive 1-1 draws.

Now, after falling eight points behind Danske Bank Premiership leaders Cliftonville, Kearney is demanding that they stop dropping points and get a victory when Glentoran visit the Showgrounds today.

“Every team will go through a sticky patch in the season and it’s a real test of your mettle and your character,” said Kearney.

“I think it says a lot about us that in these four games we’ve gone behind, but battled back to get a point each time.

“We need to be kicking on now and getting back to winning ways against Glentoran.”

Indeed five of Coleraine’s last seven games have finished 1-1, with the win over Linfield being their only three-point haul in that time and that has stopped them from staying on Cliftonville’s tails at the top.

And Kearney hasn’t been afraid to make big decisions as his team drew with Crusaders, Portadown and Lisburn Distillery, before also sharing the points with Dungannon Swifts last weekend.

He axed leading goalscorer Curtis Allen for the trip to Stangmore Park. Allen then sprang from the bench to fire home the goal that gave the Bannsiders a point, much to the delight of his manager.

“I think Curtis himself would admit he had been poor against Distillery,” he said.

“He’s a great player and a great goalscorer, but after that game I felt we needed to change things a bit,” added Kearney.

“I got the reaction from him that I wanted and, have to say, expected.

“In his first 15 minutes on the pitch against Dungannon he did more than in the whole 90 against Distillery.”

Belfast Telegraph


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