Oran Kearney is relishing race for the title
Oran Kearney is embracing the heat of the title battle as he takes his Coleraine side to league leaders Linfield tonight.
The Bannsiders head to Windsor Park trailing the Blues by nine points, although they do have a game in hand.
So there is pressure on Kearney’s men to get a result over Linfield to keep the title battle going, and the Bannsiders boss says he is relishing another dramatic race for the Gibson Cup.
“It’s about enjoying it (being in the mix),” said Kearney.
“If I look back the best times I have had, even tough we ended up in second, was when Crusaders pipped us on the last day of the season, albeit it was hard to take.
“The run-in of those last ten games or so was unbelievable and some of the best memories I have in football.
“You just urge the players to be in that again.
“It’s a matter of hanging in there and trying to pick up as many points as possible.
“We still have Glentoran twice, Larne, Ballymena - we’ll have a say in it. That’s all you want. We want to be in that position - trying to stay in the mix.”
The Bannsiders have a good record over the Blues of late with only five defeats in the last 19 meetings.
Some have labelled it as a must-win for Coleraine, but Kearney is quick to point out every game is must-win!
“Every game is a must-win,” he said.
“For me, we’ve just got to go and do what we do. Can you win every game? No.
“Have we it in us to go and put on a performance? We absolutely do.
“We showed that here with the performance against Larne last week.
“It’s hard to reach that level every game. We did it for close to 90 minutes against Larne and did it for 45 minutes against Glenavon.
“It’s tough to go and dominate Linfield for 90 minutes
“The key thing is, the spells we get in the game, which we’re good at doing at Windsor Park, we’ve got to take our chances.
“I remember in my early years at the club, you were cannon fodder probably for quite a few years against the likes of the Blues.
“We’ve now got a squad that we can hopefully hold our own against likes of these teams.
“We’ve got a lot of good performances locked in the tank from previous seasons and this season - important to go and get another one.
"We’ll not fear going there in relation to can we put in a performance, have we got it in the tank to go and get a result? We absolutely do.”
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