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Bannsiders on mission to get up and running under McAree: McCauley

 

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Striving for improvement: Darren McCauley believes Coleraine can use the Challenge Cup clash against Connah’s Quay to kick-start their season

Striving for improvement: Darren McCauley believes Coleraine can use the Challenge Cup clash against Connah’s Quay to kick-start their season

Striving for improvement: Darren McCauley believes Coleraine can use the Challenge Cup clash against Connah’s Quay to kick-start their season

Coleraine midfielder Darren McCauley says this weekend's trip to Wales could be the perfect tonic to get back to winning ways.

The Bannsiders make the journey to Connah's Quay Nomads in the third round of the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup and know a victory would seal their place in the last eight of the competition.

There has been frustration recently at The Showgrounds as Coleraine have failed to win under new boss Rodney McAree after four draws and a defeat to league leaders Glenavon.

That loss against the Lurgan Blues was the Irish Cup holders' first defeat in 32 league games, meaning they have fallen 10 points behind the early pace setters at the top of the table.

However, influential midfielder McCauley has called on his team-mates to overcome last weekend's disappointment and earn a first victory under McAree's leadership this afternoon.

"It takes time for a new manager to come in and get used to the players and vice-versa," he said.

"Out of the five games played under Rodney so far, I don't think we have had a rub of the green and we should have picked up more points.

"We don't have a big squad which means when you lose the likes of Aaron Traynor, Gareth McConaghie, Lyndon Kane and Josh Carson to injury, then you're going to be stretched.

"Thankfully the first two I've mentioned are back to full fitness and Eoin Bradley will be available for selection after missing out the last two games through suspension.

"Of course we aren't happy with our start to the season.

"We don't want to slip back and not kick-on as what's the point of all our hard work in the last few years? That isn't Coleraine anymore."

The Nomads currently sit top of the Welsh Premier League and knocked out the much-fancied Falkirk in the previous round.

They are managed by ex-Manchester City captain Andy Morrison and picked up silverware last season after winning the Welsh Cup. It's this run of fine form which McCauley believes that the Bannsiders can't take their opposition lightly.

"We don't know what to expect but they will be a good standard and it's vital that we approach the game positively," he added.

"We have to go there and be professional, give respect to Connah's Quay and get a result to take pressure off the players and Rodney."

Connah's Quay vs Coleraine

Scottish Challenge Cup:

Deeside College Stadium, Tonight, 7.30pm

Belfast Telegraph