Belfast Telegraph

Kearney keeps the Bannsiders grounded

By Graham Luney

They are looking forward to a happy, successful and prosperous new year at Coleraine and it's little wonder.

The Bannsiders, who have just netted the bragging rights in their Boxing Day clash with Ballymena United, are fourth in the Carling Premiership table and counting down the days to the IRN-BRU Cup final against Crusaders next month.

And yet if there's one man who is capable of keeping the players' feet firmly planted on the ground it's their manager Oran Kearney.

As a player, Kearney's career was often disrupted by serious injury so he understands the game's capacity to inflict pain.

His motto would be not to look too far ahead and make the most of the moment. Right now, he is looking ahead to another tough examination at Cliftonville today.

"I think everyone is over the moon about how well we are doing and there's no doubt the town and football club are buzzing at the moment," admitted Kearney. "However, I would add to that the fact that we are only half way there. We have to make sure that we do not let our standards slip now.

"I think getting to a major final also keeps spirits high in the dressing room and the players have a spring in their step.

"It's always great from a confidence perspective and I'm happy for the people of Coleraine.

"With a final on the horizon it gives players an added incentive to play well in the hope of featuring in that big game.

"But there's a lot of important games between now and the final and its important that the players don't lose focus.

"It was a tough run of games to get to that final but it has injected more confidence into the squad and there's a good atmosphere in the dressing room.

"We are pleased with our progress but there is a significant amount of work to be done and tough challenges ahead of us. We need to keep working hard."

Belfast Telegraph

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