IRISH LEAGUE: Oran Kearney keeping Coleraine’s feet firmly on the ground following stellar unbeaten run

Coleraine will be looking to continue their unbeaten run  on Friday night
Coleraine will be looking to continue their unbeaten run on Friday night

Coleraine have the chance to move into second place in the Danske Bank Premiership table on Friday night, but manager Oran Kearney insists he’ll have no trouble keeping his boys grounded.

The Bannsiders make the long trek to County Fermanagh to face Whitey Anderson’s Ballinamallard United – hoping to extend their unbeaten run to an impressive 11 games.

“It will probably take us two-and-a-half hours or more to get there, so it’s hardly ideal for players sitting on a bus for that length of time ahead of a game on a Friday night,” said Kearney.

“But we’ll go there hoping to pick up three points. We are on a good little run at the minute – the boys are all enjoying their football.

“We’ve got into the habit of winning and we have to be happy with that.”

Kearney will take the same 16 players to Ballinamallard that were on duty at home to Carrick Rangers last weekend.

“Apart from David Ogilby (shoulder injury) and Adam Mullan (viral infection), we’ll be a full strength,” added Kearney.

“Our record isn’t all that good against Ballinamallard.

“They had run over the month of October, but have gone off the boil a bit of late.

“I know that any team is capable of beaten the other in this league. We were pushed to the wire by one of the so-called ‘lesser’ teams, Carrick Rangers, last weekend.

“So we know we’ll need to be on our game. The boys are playing with a lot of confidence are are raring to go in every match. We go into every game confident of winning it.”

Ballinamallard will be without suspended Alvin Rouse and defender Emmett Friars.

After consuming three successive defeats, manager Anderson admits his team must get back on track.

“Now is the time for big character and big hearts,” he said.

“Coleraine will certainly not be shot in confidence – they are on a great run at the minute.

“You get into a habit winning – which we enjoyed last month. But we’ve now developed a habit of losing. It’s something we must stop quickly.

“Friday night is our last game of November and we want to earn some reward from the month.

“The recent defeats were disappointing, but the lads can’t wait for Friday night’s game.”

The Mallards entertain Coleraine on Friday before games against Glentoran and Linfield.

“It doesn’t matter who you play in this league, they are all tough games,” Anderson added.

“Every week is a challenge, and you have to be up for it every week.

“Coleraine is the latest test and it is against a side that is riding high at the minute. But every run has to come to an end sometime and hopefully we can stall their progress a bit.

“A victory would be a great way to end the month and get us back on track. We are at home so we will be going for the three points as we always do.”