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Oran Kearney: Coleraine are determined to obey our 'unwritten rule' in season conclusion

Danske Bank Premiership

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Oran Kearney

Oran Kearney

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Oran Kearney

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney has called for eight big performances from his side in the remainder of the league campaign - starting against fellow title challengers Glentoran at The Oval tonight.

The Bannsiders and Glens also meet at the Showgrounds on Friday in what could be make or break encounters for their title hopes with Linfield out in front in the Danske Bank Premiership. Kearney's side are 10 points behind the Blues, though they have a game in hand. Third-placed Glentoran are 12 points behind the champions having played two matches fewer.

If either side loses both games this week, their race will surely be run.

Kearney's team showed character at the weekend to beat Warrenpoint Town 2-1 after going behind three days on from losing by the same scoreline to David Healy's men in a compelling affair.

Kearney said: "Against Linfield, we hit our highest passing stats of the season, we hit our highest pass completion of the season and we had our third best amount of attempts on goal but we came out of the game with nothing. I put that into a group chat for the players.

"One thing I will never question with our team is the effort and hunger levels because we have a real honest bunch.

"I was delighted with the performance level and attitude against Warrenpoint and I want eight more of those.

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"For me, when we hit that performance level, things happen.

"At Warrenpoint, Jamie Glackin said in the second half 'I'm going to take this by the scruff of the neck'.

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Jamie Glackin

Jamie Glackin

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Jamie Glackin

"By him running at people, it created three or four yellow cards. Also when he runs at people, he attracts bodies and then slips the ball, which creates space, and all of a sudden we become alive.

"Throughout the group, Stephen O'Donnell did his job, Glackin did his job, Skinner (Eoin Bradley) did his, Stephen Lowry and more, and when you have that collective, we function."

Kearney is still looking at finishing first rather than second but appreciates victories over Glentoran would make his team favourites to finish ahead of the east Belfast outfit and guarantee European qualification.

"That's always been the focus. It's nearly an unwritten rule and we have that mindset where we will push and push to try and secure a European place," said the ex-St Mirren boss.

"If we do that, you are more than likely in and around it. That's always been the big target, but the other one is we want to hang in there and we want those last five games of the split to be important games."


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