Belfast Telegraph

Beverland: Bannsiders united behind boss Oran Kearney

By Graham Luney

Coleraine captain Howard Beverland has given passionate backing to Oran Kearney, saying he is the right man to steer the club to success.

The former Linfield midfielder was under some pressure going into last weekend's clash at Cliftonville but a stunning 3-2 win over the champions has transformed the mood in the north-west.

It was only Coleraine's second win in eight league battles and a sweet moment for boss Kearney, who has watched David McDaid, Eoin Bradley and Stephen Lowry depart the Showgrounds.

The mood music before the Reds game was depressing, with false rumours of unrest gathering pace.

But Beverland says Kearney and the players are singing from the same hymnsheet – and louder than ever.

"The boys are really buzzing now and spirits have been lifted in the camp," said the 24-year-old.

"There's nothing like a win at the home of the champions to lift confidence and restore self-belief.

"It hasn't been the best start to the season by us but the dressing room remains solid and united.

"There were rumours swirling around after our disappointing start but you cannot stop those things from happening and you mustn't let it become a distraction.

"I think there is always some negative talk and claims of unrest when things aren't going well at a club but everyone here is 100% behind the manager and committed to the cause.

"Oran has come from the background of playing for Linfield and he was used to winning trophies and medals. He would have learned a lot about the game, especially regarding to management from David Jeffrey.

"He came to Coleraine and the first few seasons of his management were always going to be testing. It was going to be a tricky time for him and the club.

"You sometimes get the feeling there is a make or break time and what happened last season was far from ideal but the changing room rallied and we came through it.

"As captain I am fully behind the manager and Oran is the right person to take this club forward.

"Players have left the club and the budget constraints are well documented but there are no excuses from us, we know the expectation levels here and securing a top six spot is still the aim."

Coleraine are now in good heart going into today's derby tussle at home to Ballymena United.

Beverland added: "I thought we performed well at Cliftonville and were worthy winners.

"It was nice to see the Cliftonville fans applaud us off at the end – they appreciated the effort we put into the game and they know good football when they see it.

"It's about building on that result now and trying to get some derby cheer against Ballymena United.

"United are traditionally strong starters in the league but we all know form goes out the window in these derby clashes.

"This is like no other league in the sense that the bottom placed side can beat the one at the top.

"No-one here was ever gong to reach for the panic alarm but full credit must go to the manager and the players for remaining focused on what we need to do.

"You have to set high goals as a player and we still believe in ourselves despite the difficult times we have had."

Belfast Telegraph

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