Livid Kearney demands Coleraine bounce back
Oran Kearney has declared that he has no intention of walking out on Coleraine after the embarrassment of Tuesday night’s 5-1 defeat to Ballinamallard United.
The angry Bannsiders boss said that his team’s performance was the kind that would make managers tender a letter of resignation.
The former Linfield midfielder, however, is determined to bring about a return to the kind of form that took the team to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership in September and he is demanding that the response starts when Lisburn Distillery visit the Showgrounds on Saturday.
“The result and the manner of it; when you have to stand on the line and watch that it is hard to take,” said Kearney.
“What I saw was one team show up prepared to fight and work hard to get a result — and it wasn’t my team.
“What I said about resignation was an off-the-cuff remark, I am not thinking of that, but that’s the kind of performance it was.
“These are my players, I’ve either brought them to the club myself or I’ve given new contracts to those who were already here, so it’s my squad.
“When I see players that I have supported play as they did it makes you feel like that. I felt robbed and you start to think about where you can take them.”
Ballinamallard led 1-0 at half-time before scoring four times in a 30-minute period during the second half. David Scullion’s late strike being merely a consolation for the Bannsiders.
“We’ve been so up and down,” said Kearney.
“That’s 10 goals we’ve conceded in our last two league games, but in between we scored seven in the Irish Cup.
“We’ve got to be careful that the season doesn’t peter out. When we were top of the league for a while I said that we’d only look at the table after Christmas — now in mid-January we’re sixth.
“I expected the players to kick-on, but now we’re in danger of slipping out of the top half.”
With an Irish Cup derby clash with Ballymena United coming up in three weeks’ time, Kearney needs to re-build confidence quickly otherwise the campaign will be over my mid-February.
“The Cup game against Ballymena is down the line, but we aren’t looking any further than Saturday against Distillery, because after Tuesday night’s debacle that is not a huge game,” he said.
“There has to be a response and it has to be a 90 minute response, not for just half and hour.”
Lisburn Distillery’s postponed Premiership game with Portadown will be played next Tuesday (January 22) instead of the following week.
The Ballyskeagh pitch was deemed unplayable on Tuesday night and the clubs agreed to try again next week rather than wait a fortnight, as was originally announced by the Irish FA.