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I have a big call to make, says Howard Beverland

By Graham Luney

Published 19/02/2016

Focus: Howard Beverland (right) says speculation over his future will not distract him as Coleraine prepare to meet Linfield tomorrow
Focus: Howard Beverland (right) says speculation over his future will not distract him as Coleraine prepare to meet Linfield tomorrow

Howard Beverland has admitted that he has a big decision to make regarding his future but he won't rush into anything. Coleraine face a fight to hold onto their proud skipper with top clubs including Linfield and Crusaders keen to snap up the defender.

Beverland's contract expires at the end of the season and he's set to hold crunch talks with boss Oran Kearney before deciding his next move.

The 25-year-old is rapidly approaching his 10th year at the north-west club and any decision to seek a fresh challenge with a rival side will certainly not be taken lightly.

Despite the inevitable speculation, Beverland, who signed his last Bannsiders deal in the summer of 2012, is committed to driving his side towards European qualification.

"There's always a fear that speculation can affect a player but I won't let that happen to me," said Beverland.

"I have a responsibility to the club and my team-mates to give my all and I will always do that.

"I have time to make a decision on my future and I'll do that when the time is right.

"I will talk to Oran and see what develops from there. It's important to listen to what the club wants and then weigh up everything.

"I'm 25 now and my next contract decision is a massive one. Until then I will be professional and focused on my job.

"We can still qualify for Europe with the new play-off system giving more teams hope. Going out of the Irish Cup was a massive disappointment but in a lot of league matches we have felt we have not been rewarded for solid performances."

Coleraine have the chance to further dent Linfield's title aspirations tomorrow when David Healy brings his men to the Showgrounds.

The Blues suffered a 2-1 loss at Portadown in their last league outing, allowing league leaders Crusaders to open up a seven-point lead at the summit - and the champions have a game in hand on their nearest challengers.

"Up until the Portadown result, Linfield had gone on a fantastic run and you always expect a tough match against them," added Beverland.

"I'm not surprised they turned it around and there are a lot of games left so you cannot write them off.

"After the split the top sides can take points off each other so although the Crues are in the best position, the Blues will keep trying to put them under pressure. They will be keen to get back on track but we are also confident we can cause them a lot of problems.

"We are on course to finish in the top six which would be a good achievement but there is a desire to make the top three as well."

Belfast Telegraph

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