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Kearney's up for the cup in absence of Crues and Blues

By Stuart McKinley

Published 18/11/2015

Eye on prize: Coleraine manager Oran Kearney is hoping his players can collect some silverware in the League Cup
Eye on prize: Coleraine manager Oran Kearney is hoping his players can collect some silverware in the League Cup

Oran Kearney has admitted to using the absence of Crusaders and Linfield in the JBE League Cup quarter-finals to motivate his Coleraine players.

With the Blues and Crues both spinning out of the competition the draw has opened up and offers most of the eight remaining teams hope of lifting the silverware - including Coleraine.

Since losing to the Crues in the 2012 League Cup final Kearney has seen Ballymena United - who the Bannsiders meet in a last eight derby battle tonight - and Glenavon break the Belfast stranglehold on the local silverware and now he wants to join them.

"We got to the final of this competition in my first season and we haven't been anywhere near one since, which is something we'd like to put right," said Kearney.

"There are eight teams left, there are a few tasty ties - including our own - and we have got to be looking at getting to the final.

"Getting over the line to that stage can be difficult because every team will be thinking the same thing and then throw in the fact that we're involved in a derby game, which brings its own issues.

"I felt that last season we were good enough to beat anyone on our day, but in the cups you can come up against opposition who have one big game in them and suddenly you find yourself out.

"I always think that all of the 12 teams in the Premiership should be aiming to win the cup competitions and just as we were going into the penalty shoot-out against the Welders in the last round news of the other games was coming through.

"I told the players that Crusaders were gone, Linfield were gone and that there was a big opportunity there for us."

Ballymena boss Glenn Ferguson has his attacking options blunted tonight as both David Cushley and Matthew Tipton are suspended.

THE Danske Bank Premiership game between Carrick Rangers and Dungannon Swifts at Taylors Avenue was postponed following an afternoon pitch inspection.

There is no new date as yet for the match, which was originally called off Saturday week ago, to be played.

Belfast Telegraph

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