Coleraine boss Oran Kearney holds no fears over Solitude clash

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney (left) and Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney (left) and Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney insists his team will have “no fears” when they face in-form Cliftonville in an Irish Cup fifth round showdown at Solitude on Saturday.

The Bannsiders ended a horrible nine-match losing streak when they defeated Ards in the Premiership last weekend – and Kearney is demanding the same again in what should be an intriguing cup clash.

Kearney this week swooped to sign Reds midfielder Joe McNeill on a loan basis until the end of the season, but the former Portadown man is ineligible for this game.

Coleraine suffered at 2-0 defeat by Cliftonville on New Year’s Day at their North Belfast headquarters, but Kearney is hoping for a better return this time.

“We need to put right the result from last week (at Cliftonville) because the performance in the first half in particular wasn’t good enough,” said Kearney.

“Hopefully we can go there and make a game of it this time. It’ll be about who wants it most to be honest. Cup games can be a lottery in many ways. It’s about who turns up and who wants it more on the day.

“Form means nothing when you go into those type of games and the fact that we broke our losing run last Saturday won’t have much of an impact on the game either.”

Nevertheless, the victory, thanks to goals from on-loan Stephen Dooley and an Eoin Bradley penalty, certainly helped ease the pressure on the Bannsiders’ chief.

“It was all about holding your nerve, about doing the right things in the right area of the pitch,” added Kearney.

“I’m delighted for my players because I know how hard they’ve been working.

“No matter what happened (against Ards) we would have been going to Solitude optimistic because it’s the Irish Cup.”