IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine manager Oran Kearney is ready for huge Euro showdown

Oran Kearney
Oran Kearney

Oran Kearney admits European qualification is a huge incentive for Coleraine.

The Bannsiders are eyeing up a massive Europa League play-off semi-final against Glentoran on Friday, May 6.

The winners will progress to a final against either Cliftonville or Ballymena United, depending on the final league standings after Saturday’s Danske Bank Premiership games.

If Dungannon finish seventh in the table, Cliftonville will automatically progress to the play-off final – to be played on Tuesday, May 10.

If Ballymena finish seventh, then the Sky Blues will meet Cliftonville in a second semi-final.

For Coleraine boss Kearney, his focus is on having a fully fit squad for their game against the Glens.

“We have had our eye on this play-off game for a wee while now,” said Kearney, whose side rounds off its Premiership campaign against Cliftonville on Saturday.

“We have been trying to manage the squad as best we can over the last couple of games, to make sure we have a strong squad available.

“We are two games away from European football, and that is massive. If you had offered me that at the start of the season I would have taken your hand off.

“So once we knew we couldn’t finish fourth in the table, we had to turn our focus to the play-offs. That is the most important game for us right now, and everything will be thrown into winning that game and trying to reach the Europa League play-off final.”