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Oran Kearney has Coleraine back on track after 'horrific' spell, insists Carson


Josh Carson

Josh Carson

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Josh Carson

Coleraine ace Josh Carson has admitted that last season was "horrific" but now the sun is rising again with Oran Kearney guiding the Bannsiders.

Since Kearney returned to Northern Ireland and succeeded Rodney McAree, the north west club has rediscovered a swagger, so much so that the Bannsiders are within striking distance of landing a first Premiership title since their only success in 1974.

Those dreams are parked this weekend as there is the small matter of tomorrow's BetMcLean League Cup final against Crusaders at Windsor Park.

It promises to be a Saturday night thriller under the lights, and Coleraine are certainly seeing the light again under former Linfield and Ballymena United midfielder Kearney.

Former Ipswich Town winger Carson admits times have been tough but he never stopped believing in the players' ability.

"I think we always knew we had the ability," said the 26-year-old. "We always thought we could achieve something and could go a step further and do everything that there is to win in this league. We do believe that.

"Last season was horrific from the get-go - we had a lot of games under Oran at the start, then Oran went and we brought in Rodney McAree. For one reason or another it didn't work, boys didn't take to what he was trying to do.

"When we got out on the pitch it just didn't happen at all. There were a lot of different formations and styles coming into a team at that stage which was solely 4-4-2.

"He tried to toy with it and put his own style on it, which I had no problem with, but other players didn't react to it at that time and then you were leaving a lot of big players out.

"We had to take responsibility for that - Rodney was putting the players out on the pitch and we were not performing, it was as simple as that. But Oran's back and everything's going the way it should be.

"If we can keep the ball rolling and try to be as consistent as we can, that - with the good additions - is only going to improve us and make us better."

On the final, Carson added: "It's no coincidence we are beating the likes of Glentoran, Crusaders and Linfield and showing we can mix it with the big boys.

"We always see us there challenging, knocking on the door of the so-called big-hitters and trying to stand in their patch and do what they do."

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