No easy games in this league says Coleraine boss Oran Kearney

Oran Kearney with his assistant Winkie Murphy
Oran Kearney with his assistant Winkie Murphy
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Oran Kearney is expecting as tough a game today at Carrick Rangers as his side have faced against Crusaders and Larne in recent weeks.

Coleraine came out of that big double-header with two of the Danske Bank Premiership’s most lauded sides with four points.

Many would be predicting an easier afternoon for the Bannsiders today, but not Kearney.

The Ballymoney man is well aware how tough it will be at the Loughshore Hotel Arena this afternoon.

“There’s definitely no easy games in this league,” said Kearney.

“You could see how good Carrick were against Linfield during the last week, they caused them quite a lot of problems.

“Niall (Curie) has done a fantastic job, they are riding on the crest of a wave with being promoted and everything else, and they are playing with freedom.

“Any time I’ve gone there it has been a tough game and I don’t expect Saturday to be any different.

“I think they put in a huge amount of work over the summer and the pitch is in great shape at the minute.

“Hopefully that will allow us to get the ball down and move it.

“It’s not the biggest pitch so it will be important that we are at our best.”

It was a real battle at The Showgrounds against Carrick’s east Antim neighbours Larne last week.

In a game of few clear-cut chances Kearney said it was important to adapt to the opposition and set up accordingly.

“If we were to be gung-ho and leave the back door open you can see the qualities Larne have to hurt you,” he said.

“It was very much about patience. Our boys were very patient, we had a couple of sniffs in the first half, but we three or four big opportunities in the second half to go on and win it.

“That’s what games like that are all about. They aren’t going to be littered with chances, it’s going to come down to two or three opportunities for each side.

“It was very much like the Crusaders game the previous week.

“Eoin Bradley put in a massive shift, he had spent 65-70 minutes running and chasing then all of a sudden that opportunity comes along. He has hit the target and to be fair Devlin has made a good save.”

Carrick rightly felt aggrieved leaving Dungannon last week with nothing to show for their efforts after a controversial decision by referee Andrew Davey to rule out Stewart Nixon’s goal with the game at 2-0.

Boss Currie revealed during the week that Davey contacted him to apologise for, something which the Carrick boss appreciated.

“Andrew phoned me on Sunday,” said Currie. “He apologised and was very decent, saying it shouldn’t have been disallowed.

“I like that. It doesn’t make me feel any better in terms of the result but it was a very decent thing for Andrew Davey to do.”

Currie admitted his side were not at the races in the first half at Stangmore Park, but was delighted with their response after the break.

“We were poor and Dungannon deserved to be ahead at half-time,” he said.

“But in the second half our guys were magnificent. Sometimes it’s not meant to be, last week was one of those occasions, but we’ll keep our heads up.”