Coleraine v Linfield: Pressure won’t be on Bannsiders insists Oran Kearney

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney hopes his players can “play without pressure” when they step out against Premiership leaders Linfield on Saturday.

The Bannsiders have enjoyed a positive start to the season, claiming two wins from their opening three fixtures.

A 1-0 success over Glentoran was backed up by last week’s derby victory against Ballymena United.

Sandwiched in between was a 4-0 defeat to Cliftonville, but six points from nine is a healthy return as far as Kearney is concerned.

“The derby win has given everyone a lift,” he said.

“It was good to bounce back from the midweek defeat at Solitude, and now we can look forward to the visit of Linfield.

“They have also made a good start and sit top of the table. Their confidence will be sky high.

“But we can go into the game without any real pressure. We just want the players to go out and express themselves and relax.

“It is going to be a tough game. Linfield ran out 5-1 winners against Dungannon last Saturday, but by all accounts it was a pretty even game until the Swifts had a player sent off.

“We’ll get a good week’s training behind us and be determined to keep our own good form going.”

Kearney admits he was pleased with the attitude of his players in last week’s derby win.

“Ballymena went into the game on the back of 7-1 defeat, but we knew they would be dangerous,” he added.

“Thankfully the players didn’t read too much into previous results.”