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Kearney in pursuit of firepower after McDaid's exit

By Russell Pritchard

Oran Kearney has declared that there was no point in Coleraine forcing striker David McDaid to honour his contract with the club.

The 23-year-old striker left the Bannsiders to sign for Cliftonville on Monday night, plunging Kearney into a search for a replacement with less than three weeks of the transfer window remaining.

McDaid had time to run on his deal at the Showgrounds, but letting him go was the right thing to do, according to Kearney.

"The mood that David was in a week ago, I was expecting to get 20 goals out of him this season," said Kearney.

"Then things changed, he made it known that he was interested in the move and after that there wasn't much we could do.

"It's not just the case with David though, it's human nature that when someone else shows an interest your focus isn't the same and I couldn't guarantee that if we kept David I'd get the same out of him in terms of work rate and desire.

"These situations are difficult to deal with, but I've seen it in the past where players were bullied into staying with clubs and their performances just weren't the same after it.

"We can do our best to keep players and speak to them, but ultimately if the player expresses an interest in moving then it's probably better for everyone concerned that they move on."

Kearney is unlikely to see much of the transfer fee that Cliftonville paid to Coleraine for McDaid, but he is still keen to add at least one, if not two, new faces to his squad in the transfer window.

"I've been looking for an additional striker for most of the summer, now it just becomes a bit more important that we get someone in," he said.

"Without wanting to go public with names I have one or two targets in the mix and I would be hopeful of signing one – I'd like a second to give us a bit more depth."

In the meantime Kearney will put his faith in Gary Browne to lead the attack against Institute at Drumahoe tonight.

And he is warning his players not to underestimate Paul Kee's newly promoted side.

"I think this will be as tough a game as we'll have in the opening segment of the season," said Kearney, even though he is due to welcome Linfield to the Showgrounds on Saturday.

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