David Platt believes Coleraine have rediscovered the psychology of success.
His Bannsiders have halted a depressing run of 10 games without a win by recording back-to-back successes against Newry City and Dungannon Swifts.
Platt says: “Our mindset has changed. I got a reaction from the players when they conceded a goal on Saturday. For me that was a positive step, a clear sign that things have improved amongst them.
“It was our first game at home in four weeks and winning was everything. Now it is important that we beat the teams around us. If Dungannon had got a result they would have been just six points behind us. Instead the gap is now 12 and that shows how important a win is.
“Our aim is a top six place and if we can continue to pick off teams then we can recover some of the ground we lost.
“We have to make ourselves hard to beat again with the final series of matches beginning in the race to the league split.”
Meanwhile, Darren Boyce (pictured) misses this weekend’s JJB Sports Irish Cup tie against Ards at the Showgrounds after being sent off along with Swifts substitute Shane Mulgrew on Saturday. The winger celebrated his first appearance in front of home fans since his return from Glentoran with a goal but then it all went wrong. Platt says: “I have no complaints about the decision but there were other incidents in the game I felt the referee missed.
Boyce is the eighth Coleraine player to be given their marching orders this season. Referee Brian Turkington produced a straight red after a touchline challenge which resulted in both players becoming involved in a scuffle off the pitch.
Dungannon are back at the bottom of the table after this setback. Manager John Cunningham says: “This performance highlights what I have been saying that we are far from being the finished article. I have brought in some new players but we still need to strengthen our squad more in the transfer window.”