Belfast Telegraph

Carrick trip is a tough test: Kearney

Cautious approach: Oran Kearney
Cautious approach: Oran Kearney

By Alex Mills

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney insists his boys will need to be at their best today if they are to maintain their unbeaten start to the Danske Bank Premiership campaign against Carrick Rangers at the Loughshore Hotel Arena.

Kearney has had an immediate effect following his summer return after a season with Scottish club St Mirren, with the Bannsiders the only team yet to taste defeat.

But he'll be taking nothing for granted against Niall Currie's side, who are still miffed and hurt at being denied a possible share of the spoils at Dungannon Swifts last weekend.

Although referee Andrew Davey later apologised for disallowing a first-half Stewart Nixon goal, it was little consolation.

Kearney admits he has been impressed with how Carrick have adapted to life in the top division following their promotion.

"There is nothing easy in this league regardless of what team we are up against, whether it's the top six or bottom six," said Kearney. "I watched the Carrick Rangers game against Linfield recently and they caused the Blues quite a lot of problems.

"Niall Currie has done a fantastic job, not only getting them into the Premiership but how they have adapted to this league so far.

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"Any time I've gone to Carrick down the years it's been tough, and I expect it to be the same."

Although the Bannsiders have a reputation of playing an expansive brand of football, they may find it more difficult on the tight, uneven pitch at Carrick.

"The pitch came in for a bit of criticism the last time they were in the league, but the club has put in a huge amount of work and now it's in great shape," added Kearney. "It's a case of adapting to the conditions."

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