Coleraine fired up for vital Ards clash

Coleraine's Stephen Lowry
Coleraine's Stephen Lowry

Coleraine chief Oran Kearney admits Saturday’s Premiership clash with Ards at the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds is the classic ‘six-pointer’.

The Bannsiders have slumped to 11th spot in the table - just four points above the County Down basement side.

Although Coleraine have now gone nine games without a victory, Kearney is adamant that his team’s fortunes could be about to change, especially with new arrivals, striker David McDaid and goalkeeper Eugene Ferry - both formerly with Derry City - on board.

“Every game is now a six-pointer for us,” said Kearney. “We’ve had a difficult run of game and the results haven’t been good.

“Now is the time to stop the rot. I’m not one for making excuses them, but we have really been seriously affected by injury problems.

“We’ve had a number of players missing and they are big players for this football club.

“We are gradually getting back to full fitness. Stephen Lowry has been out long term and required an operation. He played 60 minutes for the reserves in midweek and had no effects on the injury.

“His rehabilitation has been good and he has stepped up training over the last few weeks. It’s now only a matter of building up his match fitness. Gary Browne was also back on the bench against Cliftonville, while Shane Jennings is recovering after having stitches inserted.”

Kearney is hoping that McDaid and Ferry will be included against Ards.

“Hopefully, the international clearance will be finalised for the weekend,” he added. “I will also be looking to add to the squad before the end of the transfer window.”

“To be honest, I’ve been on the telephone non-stop. It will take a bit of time in terms of moving players out before I can bring in others.”

“But this game against Ards has extra significance because of our position.