IRISH LEAGUE:This is no time for title talk says Coleraine’s Darren McCauley

Darren McCauley
Darren McCauley

Darren McCauley says it is far too early in the season to be even thinking about mounting a challenge for the league title.

Coleraine sit proudly on top of the Danske Bank Premiership table with a 100% record.

Wins over Crusaders and Cliftonville are the standout results in the opening month, but boss Oran Kearney will be as equally as pleased with the defeats of Dungannon Swifts, Warrenpoint Town and Glenavon.

McCauley was in scintillating form against the Lurgan Blues helping himself to a superb brace.

The result sent the Bannsiders three points clear at the top of the league with Linfield in Scottish Challenge Cup action at the weekend.

McCauley though is not getting carried away with things just yet.

“It’s far too early in the season to be even talking about challenging for league titles,” he said.

“It’s only five games in and we do not want to get ahead of ourselves.

“There’s a long way to go in the season, we will just be taking each game as it comes.

“We are happy to be where we are now, but at the same time we shouldn’t be afraid to have that ambition.

“But you talk about those sorts of things after Christmas, not at this stage in the season.

“We are a high energy team, we have a lot of young players. We are a humble squad, there’s no big egos. We work for each other and we have a manager who keeps us well drilled.

“We are probably not the most flamboyant side in the world, but we’re hard working and humble, and we just want to keep this run going.”

McCauley is clearly a man full of confidence, shown by his two goals on Saturday - a cheeky Panenka penalty and a fantastic curling effort into the top corner.

“It was a cheeky penalty. It just came in to my head, I haven’t really seen it done too many times in the Irish League, I thought I would be brave and do it, it was something different,” he explained.

“Fortune favours the brave, but I don’t think I would do it again.

“I don’t think 4-2 flattered us against Glenavon, it probably could have been more in the end.

“The game was very open. On another day we could have shown a bit more composure in the final third, and as I say scored more goals.”

Coleraine know the pressures which come with the lofty heights, and boss Oran Kearney admitted his side will be a target for teams now.

“We raised a few eyebrows last season and with that we’re a target,” he said.

“For me Saturday’s game is what it is. Colin Nixon has Ards going well down there and he has brought in some good players over the summer.

“We’ve never had it easy down there and I don’t expect it to be anything different this time around.”

Ards will certainly be up for it after picking up their first win of the season in Tuesday night’s win over Carrick Rangers.

“It wasn’t pretty to watch at times, but it was about getting the job done,” said boss Colin Nixon.

“Even when we had a man sent off, we stuck to the task and we dug in.

“When Kyle (Cherry) was sent off, I thought it was going to be another one of those nights.

We had plenty of chances, but failed to put them away.

“That’s been the story of our season so far . . . we have been creating chances, but not hitting the target.

“But the league table doesn’t lie. We were rooted at the bottom

“I don’t think we have got what we deserved over the last few games, but hopefully, our luck has now changed. And hopefully, we can kick on from here.

“I think we probably deserved the three points on chances created.

“It was a scrappy game, but any football that was played, it came from us.

“When you are rooted at the bottom of the table with no points, teams are going to come at us because our confidence was low.

“But fair play to the boys. They deserve all the credit. I thought they were excellent,” he added.