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Coleraine job far from child's play for Oran Kearney as Bannsiders prepare for Linfield visit

By Billy Weir

High-flying Linfield come calling to the Ballycastle Road tomorrow and for most managers that would signal a few sleepless nights.

However, Oran Kearney admits pressure is an occupational hazard as boss and he will be burning the midnight oil in an effort to try and put a dent in the Blues' perfect start to the campaign.

"I'm probably my own worst enemy, I put myself under some immense pressure," admitted the man who served the Blues with distinction in the midfield engine-room for several seasons.

"For as much as we had a good start (against Glentoran), I wasn't happy with our second-half in particular on the Wednesday night (at Cliftonville) and what I put in from Wednesday was savage and it does affect your life and all aspects of it.

"It eats and eats and eats at you. Winkie (William Murphy) has joined me this season and I texted him after Cliftonville on Wednesday with 'the highs and lows…' He rang me back and said he hadn't slept all night!

"I said to him to get used to it because I'm not going to lie to you, I always feel I'm under pressure.

"I've never felt anything but and you're never happy until such times as the whistle goes and you're over the line."

With those pressures it is vital that Kearney can switch off, and he has the perfect distraction in the shape of five-year-old twins, Ava and Luca, with the latter joining daddy to celebrate on the pitch after last weekend's convincing derby success over Ballymena United.

It ensures he keeps his feet firmly on the ground, as after the win over the Glens, there was much more important business to attend to - getting a fifth birthday party into full swing.

"I had the kids' birthdays on Sunday and it just made the whole Sunday having got the win," he added.

Thoughts now are fully on Linfield, but Kearney is delighted with the Bannsiders' start to the campaign.

"With the three tough fixtures, if you'd offered me six points from nine I would have bitten your arm off," he said.

"Credit to the players because they're showing that steel and a different side to them we haven't shown. Hopefully that will hold us in good stead.

"It's out of the frying pan and into the fire and it's another big game.

"But going into it with six points and with that win behind us means we're in the best possible shape to go into it."

Belfast Telegraph


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