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Beware the wounded tiger, warns Coleraine boss Kearney


On guard: Oran Kearney knows Linfield will be smarting right now

On guard: Oran Kearney knows Linfield will be smarting right now

On guard: Oran Kearney knows Linfield will be smarting right now

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney believes Linfield will resemble a wounded tiger when they visit the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds tomorrow.

The Blues are smarting from their first defeat of the Danske Premiership campaign, after their controversial midweek showdown at Cliftonville.

With the Bannsiders now hot on the tails of David Healy's side, Kearney admits motivation will not be an issue as victory will take his team into 'the dizzy heights' of second place in the table.

"I suppose there is never a good time to meet Linfield, but it's not recommended when it comes on the back of their first league defeat of the season," quipped Kearney.

"They'll be wanting to get that out of their system - that's the way it is at Windsor Park.

"It's a massive match for both clubs. Linfield usually bring a big crowd to the Showgrounds, so there should be a great atmosphere.

"But we have our own agenda - we have a massive incentive because a win means we will overtake Linfield, so that's all the motivation we require.

"It's a big opportunity, one the players must embrace. Our results of late have been good. I'm more than happy the way we are performing. They came back from what appeared to be impossible situations against Glenavon and Ballymena in recent weeks, so we approach the match in good shape."

Kearney will rely on the squad that returned from struggling Portadown last week with all three points, courtesy of Brad Lyons' winning goal.

Indeed, it was a profitable seven days for the Bannsiders. Not only did they win at Ards the previous Saturday, but they were then handed an additional three points by the IFA from the opening match of the league campaign at home to Portadown, cancelled due to an inquiry into the Peter McMahon illegal payment affair.

"You don't get many weeks like that - nine points and no goals conceded," added Kearney, who will once again be without new signing Gary Twigg, still recovering from a back injury sustained in training.

Belfast Telegraph