Belfast Telegraph

McAree is hoping he can bolster Coleraine ranks even further

Ards v Coleraine, Danske Bank Premiership, Bangor Fuels Arena, Tonight, 8pm

On lookout: Rodney McAree remains interested in new faces
On lookout: Rodney McAree remains interested in new faces

By Graham Luney

Coleraine boss Rodney McAree is pleased to have added depth to his squad, but he may still miss out on some big deals this month.

Mark Edgar, Jamie Glackin, Ben Doherty, Cormac Burke and Dylan Davidson have joined the Bannsiders, while Ciaron Harkin has moved on to Derry City.

McAree has shown an interest in Dean Shiels, who has left Derry City, and Institute's goal machine Michael McCrudden, but both men could escape his grasp.

"We spoke to Michael and put a bid in but I'm not sure where that is," said McAree. "Derry City are interested and they can offer him a full-time deal.

"He's a Derry lad and supporter but we will hang onto hope until told otherwise.

"I'd like to have another conversation with Dean Shiels but you've always got to determine whether a deal makes financial sense for the club."

Darren McCauley is looking for a fresh challenge and while Crusaders, Larne and Port Vale are monitoring developments, Derry could be favourites to snap him up.

"A deal has to be agreeable with Coleraine Football Club," said McAree.

"The club needs to be looked after in terms of the value of the player.

"We needed extra bodies, particularly with Darren likely to leave.

"We've missed out on one or two but we have added to the squad and that was important because I felt the squad needed more depth.

"It's important to have more options."

Coleraine travel to Ards in the Danske Bank Premiership tonight and McAree admits their title challenge is virtually over.

"I don't think the Premiership title is a realistic target for us now," he added.

"I don't see Crusaders and Linfield dropping as many points as they would need to for us to capitalise and Ballymena United are close to them too.

"Our objective is to continue working extremely hard to build confidence, win games.

"We are still in the Irish Cup and want to finish as high in the league as we can, possibly make the top three.

"It may be a big ask but we will give it a rattle.

"Ards are a very difficult team to play against, we have played them twice this season and only scored one goal in getting four points.

"We will look forward to it and the surface should suit our style of play though it is an early start for us."

Ards drew 0-0 with Coleraine in September but McAree's side came out on top 1-0 at Ballycastle Road in December.

Colin Nixon's men are two points adrift of Newry City at the bottom, having played two games more than Darren Mullen's side.

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