Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran will find ruthless streak: Alan Kernaghan

By Graham Luney

Boss Alan Kernaghan can see signs of the Glentoran jigsaw taking shape. Two league defeats on the spin, including a shock loss at home to Carrick Rangers, spread anxiety among the Oval faithful but a 1-0 victory at Portadown last weekend lifted spirits.

All the teams are going to struggle to find consistency in a fiercely competitive league but the Glens are looking to push into the top four.

A ruthless streak in front of goal would certainly help the east Belfast men as neither new signing Nacho Novo nor Curtis Allen have opened their account.

It was midfielder Kym Nelson who produced the vital winner at Shamrock Park.

"I'm pleased with the way we have been playing," said former Republic of Ireland defender Kernaghan, whose side visit Coleraine tonight (7.45pm).

"We are trying to build every week and play in a certain style with hopefully consistency coming with it.

"It's a new system the players are faced with and that can take time to work but the boys are doing well. It was great to get the win over Portadown but of course we do need to be more ruthless in front of goal.

"Chances are being created but not being put away.

"Curtis has had one or two opportunities while Nacho has hardly had any.

"If we can get the strikers scoring goals we will pick up a lot more points."

Kernaghan has added Alex Leu to his squad, a versatile left-sided player who earned one cap for Moldova in 2014.

While the 25-year-old is not a household name despite his international experience, the Glens boss says he remains committed to nurturing young talent at the Oval.

"As long as it's within the financial budgets of clubs then it can be worth bringing players in but I'm also a passionate believer in bringing through young players and we will give young players a chance," he added.

"I have shown I'm not afraid to put youngsters into the first team.

"But if we have players with international experience on our doorstep and we can bring them to Glentoran we've got to consider that.

"It can be a fantastic opportunity for both us and the player.

"Clubs are looking far and wide to strengthen their squads and that's what they need to do.

"If a good player becomes available you've got to act as a manager."

Coleraine are still looking for their first Premiership victory of the campaign.

A spirited performance against champions Crusaders last weekend earned a 1-1 draw with David Ogilby on target courtesy of a sweetly struck free-kick.

Boss Oran Kearney was highly critical of his players after the 4-0 hammering at Dungannon Swifts and he highlighted a poor attitude from the lacklustre visitors.

A much more committed and polished performance against Stephen Baxter's side lifted the manager's spirits.

"We have to work towards getting that consistency of performance in every game, we've had it in two of our three matches but we have to go into Friday night's game with Glentoran and aim for that same standard of performance again," said former Linfield midfielder Kearney.

The Bannsiders could be without Gareth McConaghie but Kearney's squad is virtually at full strength.

  • Coleraine v Glentoran, Danske Bank Premiership: Ballycastle Road ,7.45pm

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