Coleraine's objectives are still the same insists Oran Kearney

Linfield’s failure to get over the line on Saturday will not have any impact on Coleraine’s objectives in the final two league games.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 6:02 am

The Bannsiders victory over Crusaders on Saturday coupled with the Blues defeat at home to Larne means only five points separate them at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Add in to the mix that they play each other at the Showgrounds on Tuesday week and suddenly things just got interesting again.

For Oran Kearney though the target hasn’t changed.

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Coleraine boss Oran Kearney. PICTURE: David Cavan

“When we played Glentoran last time we had four games to get 12 points,” explained the Bannsiders boss.

“Today we had three games to get nine points.

“We now have two games to get six points. That’s all we’re trying to do at this point It was massively important that we were right today and it shows you how tricky it was.

“Even though Crusaders rested players who will play on Tuesday night or whatever you still have boys coming in hungry, boys coming in who have a point to prove who could still maybe make 18 of a cup panel.

“You bring all those dangers but you also bring because of where they are in the league some of their creative players will maybe take a gamble more where the likes of Cushley maybe not track back or Jamie then all of a sudden find themselves in spaces where they can hurt you.

“Days like today – and I’ve seen it so many times – teams like that can be so, so dangerous when the shackles are off.

“The way we managed both ends of the pitch was really good today.”

Kearney admitted his mind drifted back to the end of his first full season in charge at Coleraine when they travelled to Crusaders on the final day knowing a win would secure a European place for them.

The Crues rested players ahead of an Irish Cup final appearance but ran out 2-1 winners at Seaview that day.

“It was in my mind all week and I never mentioned it pre-game, but I mentioned it post game there,” he said.

“Curtis, possibly Stephen Lowry - possibly only two involved that day – was a really frustrating day, we lost 2-1, we missed a lot of chances.

“It’s one that has lived with me for a long time.

“It’s important you learn from those experiences so we’re glad to get the three points today.

“The biggest job pre-game, was making sure that the players were aware of that and that they didn’t go soft and that they understood what was at stake and what it needed to look like.

“I thought from the word go today we looked dangerous in the first half without maybe that one bit of quality or that creative spark or gilt-edged chance.

“To be fair, we get that in the second half from Curtis and James.

“We’re all understanding of it being a squad game and they’ve all pulled their weight at different stages of the season and it was up to those two to do that today.”

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