Oran Kearney has admitted that controversial striker Leon Knight has handed him a major selection headache ahead of Saturday’s clash with Linfield at Windsor Park.
Although Kearney relegated Knight to the bench for Saturday’s derby with Ballymena United, the Bannsiders boss denied that his decision had anything to do with the player’s Twitter rant after the previous week’s 1-1 draw with Glenavon.
Knight hit out at Glenavon’s tactics and also criticised referee Hugh Carvill’s handling of the game — the Irish FA are set to decide if his comments breached guidelines over what is allowed on social networking websites, with a potential ban hanging over him.
The striker responded by netting the winner in the 1-0 victory, shortly after he was thrown into the action, leaving Kearney with a tough decision to make before facing the Blues.
“To be fair to Leon, he just kept his head down and got on with business when he came on,” said Kearney.
“It gives me something else to think about ahead of next week’s game at Windsor Park.
“He just has the predator’s instinct and the little bit of anticipation to be in that position and I’m delighted for him to get the goal after coming off the bench.”
Kearney claimed that putting Knight on the bench was a purely tactical move and one that followed on from the performance of his team over the previous two games, having beaten Distillery before the draw with Glenavon.
“I changed things around because against Lisburn Distillery we created a lot of chances in a 4-4-2, but when we went to 4-3-3 last week it didn’t work for us,” he said.