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Why it's vital for St Mirren to keep 'good guy' Oran Kearney, explains Anton Ferdinand


Staying up: Oran Kearney
Staying up: Oran Kearney

By Graham Luney

St Mirren defender Anton Ferdinand feels the club should fight hard to retain the services of manager Oran Kearney.

The Buddies retained their Scottish Premiership status following a tense a penalty shoot-out victory in Sunday's play-off final second leg against Dundee United but rumours persist that the 40-year-old could be tempted to return to Coleraine.

The Bannsiders are searching for a new manager after parting company with Rodney McAree.

And although Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry has stated that Kearney is not on their radar, supporters will expect the club to at least hold talks with the man who steered them to Irish Cup glory in 2018.

Ferdinand, whose own St Mirren future is unclear, insists the Paisley side must keep hold of the manager who masterminded a great escape from relegation.

"To see the manager come through it all has put a big smile on my face," said the brother of former England and Manchester United star Rio.

"He's one of the good guys in football and deserves all the praise and success he gets.

"It's important that the club keep the manager here, that's for sure. He has achieved a lot in a short space of time and there's definitely something for him to build on.

"As a player, it's not really my place to talk about that. But he has been successful here and the club needs stability. I'm pleased for the boys and I am pleased for the manager.

"I have been in this situation before and it's not nice. I had to draw on all of my experience to help the boys get through this. Seeing the boys do it has put a smile on my face."

The 34-year-old defender came off the bench in the latter stages of Sunday's match in what was his first appearance for the Buddies since the beginning of April.

"I have no idea what the future holds," said Ferdinand, who featured 19 times in total for St Mirren. "Do I still want to play football? Yes. I have no idea if that will be here.

"The sun was shining on the football club at the weekend.

"It was an emotional day. These lads might not appreciate what they have done; what they have achieved. But in a few years' time, I know they will. It will start to sink in.

"If it's to be my last game, then it's a great way to leave."

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