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Coleraine's key men are staying put, says Kearney

 

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Wise head: Oran Kearney will only bring in another player if he proves the right fit for Coleraine

Wise head: Oran Kearney will only bring in another player if he proves the right fit for Coleraine

Wise head: Oran Kearney will only bring in another player if he proves the right fit for Coleraine

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney has left the door open for a possible new arrival before the transfer window closes but he's not willing to part company with any of his star men.

The Bannsiders rejected a bid from Crusaders for striker Jamie McGonigle and fresh rumours have surfaced regarding the north Belfast club's interest in Aaron Burns.

Kearney says he's unaware of the Burns interest, while the McGonigle transfer story is "dead in the water".

The former Linfield midfielder has until the end of the month to strengthen his panel for what will be another title pursuit but, if the right player isn't available, he's confident his squad will continue to pack a punch.

"The Jamie situation is dead in the water but you are always looking to improve," said Kearney.

"We'll never say never on that front but I wouldn't say we have any particular target on the horizon. I'm not aware of interest in Aaron Burns but I wouldn't welcome any interest in our players.

"We are a small squad but we have a huge amount of quality and, as I have said many times over the summer, we don't want to lose players, we want to gain even one more, but if the right player isn't available I'm happy to run with what we have at the minute."

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Coleraine are doing just fine as back-to-back wins sees them sitting top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

It may be very early days in a brutal and demanding league campaign, but the Bannsiders will be on a mission to go one better than last season's runner-up finish.

Burns hit a brace in the 2-1 win at Cliftonville, and that followed an opening day 3-0 victory at home to Warrenpoint Town, which was even more pleasing as a host of players were unavailable to the home side.

It's a promising start for Kearney's men but, after spending most of last season batting away title talk, the manager's philosophy and approach is unlikely to change.

"I don't see any threats or even contemplate Championship races, we are nowhere close to that," he added.

"We are just concentrating on winning matches and not thinking of who else, or what if? The key thing for us, like everyone else, is to get up and running and enjoy a good start.

"I'm not looking into the future, it's important to stay focused on what is in front of us.

"With so many suspensions for the first game and players unavailable through injury it was bare bones time, but it was great to get the result against Warrenpoint, and on Saturday (against Cliftonville) we played well in parts of the game and it took a late winner to settle the game but we were delighted with the win."

Coleraine travel to The Oval on Saturday and they can expect to face a Glentoran side hungry to secure their first home win of the campaign.

A 2-1 defeat to Cliftonville represented a disappointing start but Ronnie McFall's side responded by winning 2-0 at Ards.

Glens legends Gary Smyth and Paul Leeman are helping McFall revive the club's fortunes and Kearney is expecting a difficult assignment.

"The two Glentoran legends will have added a lot to the Glens, they are big personalities and you can see already they have made an impact," he added.

"They had a good win away at Ards, and by all accounts they were unfortunate to lose to a late winner at home to Cliftonville."

Meanwhile, there are fears that Ards midfielder Sean Noble will miss the rest of the season with a suspected anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Noble will have an MRI scan today after suffering the injury in Saturday's defeat to Glentoran.


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