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Oran Kearney is expecting James McLaughlin to deliver

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney is certain that there is more to come from man-of-the-moment James McLaughlin.

The 25-year-old striker announced his return to Premiership football when he came off the bench to bag the winning goal against Glentoran on Saturday.

Kearney had feared that his team's old problems in front of goal were going to return, but in McLaughlin he believes that he has found a man who can be his fox in the box.

"Last season we struggled to score goals when we were on top in matches," said Kearney.

"I feared it was going to be the same again against Glentoran, but James has that striker's instinct inside the box. I have no doubt he will get us goals."

And while tonight's opponents Cliftonville try to replace Joe Gormley, with Portadown's Darren Murray at the top of their wanted list, Kearney plucked his new striker almost out of nowhere.

After scoring goals at Under-17 international level, where he played alongside Ryan McGivern, who has gone on to win senior caps, McLaughlin dropped down the ladder and most recently played for Ballybogey in the Coleraine Saturday Morning League - although he did win the league last season.

Getting up to speed with the Premiership pace is the first challenge and it's one that Kearney expects him to be able to meet.

"It was a brilliant start for him. It's a fairytale ending, but he knows he has a lot more to do and I hope this will give him encouragement," said Kearney.

Belfast Telegraph


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