Belfast Telegraph

Bradley is eager to inspire a Coleraine backlash

Clear mission: Eoin Bradley wants Coleraine to return to winning ways after the shock defeat to Warrenpoint
Clear mission: Eoin Bradley wants Coleraine to return to winning ways after the shock defeat to Warrenpoint

By Alex Mills

Striker Eoin Bradley insists Coleraine must prove that last weekend's shock defeat by Warrenpoint Town was simply a freak result.

The Bannsiders not only lost for the first time this season, but it was manager Oran Kearney's first defeat in 52 games spanning his two spells at the Showgrounds - he spent nine months with Scottish side St Mirren last term.

On paper, it was a mismatch ­ - Coleraine were flying high at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership, while Barry Gray's team had been struggling.

With Niall Currie's Carrick Rangers due to leave a calling card at the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds today, Bradley reckons his team cannot afford another poor day at the office.

"Last week was a wake-up call for us," he said. "The last couple of weeks, our performances haven't been as good. We have been playing more in patches.

"We started off well at Warrenpoint and we could have been a few goals up by half-time.

"But they were awarded a penalty after the break, which they scored.

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"Although we got back into it, we conceded sloppy goals - but that's football. You are not going to go all year unbeaten.

"It's how you bounce back after a defeat which matters. Hopefully, we can show a response this week."

Bradley insists the team were not affected by the pressure of protecting their impressive unbeaten run.

He added: "We didn't really mention it in the dressing room and certainly Oran never talked about it, so we can't use that as an excuse. I suppose we all knew it would come to an end sometime, but we didn't expect it to be against the bottom team in the league.

"I wouldn't say they (Warrenpoint) deserved all three points, but they certainly deserved something out of the game.

"That's football and it shows again that any team can beat the other in this league. Between now and the end of the year, it will not be the only freak result we'll see.

"There will be a lot of twists and turns before the end of the campaign.

"The good thing is we now have the chance to redeem ourselves. We must get back to winning ways, which will bring its own pressure.

"I suppose we'll be expected to win, but that was also the case last week.

"We have to be professional, it's a home game and you want to win all your home games, but we know it won't be easy against Carrick, who are always well drilled.

"They will probably play the same way as last week against Crusaders.

"They'll sit in and hope to catch us on the break. It's up to us to counteract that.

"By all accounts, the Crues were lucky enough to win it with two late goals. We are under no illusions, we know Carrick have a few boys in there that have been around the block in the Irish League.

"But if we play to our potential, it should be good enough for us to get three points."

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