IRISH LEAGE: It's one game at a time says Coleraine boss

It may be a worn out cliché, but Coleraine boss Oran Kearney is determined to make sure his side take it one game at a time.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 7:24 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:03 am
Oran Kearney wants his teams to maintain their focus. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press

The Bannsiders are on an incredible run at present with ten wins and one draw from their last eleven games in league and cup.

That run has saw them close the gap on third place and reach the semi finals of the Irish Cup, where they will come up against Saturday’s opponents Glenavon.

Many pundits with look at this weekend’s clash as a precursor for the big game at Ballymena Showgrounds on April 1st.

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For Kearney though it’s all about keeping the run going and picking up another three points.

“People can dress it up to what they want it to be, but for me it’s just our next game,” said the Bannsiders boss.

“It’s another vitally important game, we are pushing to finish as high up the league as we can.

“We are not looking a month ahead and sitting and waiting for the semi final.

“There’s a huge amount of football to be played between now and there’s a huge amount of places up for grabs.

“It’s important that all our players are on it every week because the way it’s going at the minute if the performance isn’t there then there’s a lot of good players waiting in the wings for their opportunity.

“It’s the business end of the season and the most important part of the season, you need a lot of good work beforehand to get you to this stage.

“We are now there and I just hope we can carry on with that level of quality and performance we have been producing in recent weeks.”

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton will adjust his selection policy for the home clash with Coleraine due to Irish Cup commitments.

The Lurgan Blues’ 2-0 home win at Dungannon last Saturday secured a top six finish and has afforded Hamilton the luxury of picking a panel of players for Saturday in prime position to protect the club’s trophy ambitions.

This weekend’s league test will prove an opportunity to gain a psychological edge over the opposition but Hamilton is adopting a more pragmatic approach to his line-up.

“Our standard approach is we do not change a winning side,” said Hamilton. “We have basically a full group available but must keep an eye on players sitting this week on four or nine bookings with an eye on the Irish Cup semi-finals,” said Hamilton.

“This is the period when you worry about injuries as well as suspensions so it comes down to a sensible approach, especially after wrapping up that top-six finish last weekend in the league.

“Greg Moorhouse came off against Portadown in the cup with a groin problem and did not train leading up to the Dungannon match.

“Chris Turner clocked up 80 minutes or so this week for the reserves so should come into the Coleraine squad.

“He is ineligible for the Irish Cup and last weekend had to serve an outstanding one-game ban from his time in Scotland.”