There will be more twists and turns to come says Stephen O'Donnell

Stephen O’Donnell believes there will still be a number of twists and turns in the final eight games of the season.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 6:00 am

Coleraine’s Danske Bank Premiership title aspirations suffered a blow last week when they lost to Linfield.

But a hard-fought 2-1 win at Warrenpoint Town thanks to a brace from O’Donnell coupled with Linfield’s draw at Larne has given the Bannsiders a chink of hope again ahead of tonight's trip to Glentoran.

“There are going to be twists and turns,” said the Coleraine skipper.

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Stephen O’Donnell is mobbed by his team-mates after his winner against Warrenpoint Town. PICTURE: David Cavan

“Even before the split, we have three tough games coming up as do Linfield.

“Who knows what is going to happen?

“I think coming here today we weren’t going to put ourselves in the title race but we definitely could have played ourselves out of something if we had of lost.

“It was important we went and won as teams behind us would have been watching and thinking when we went 1-0 down ‘here we go they are gone’ and everything else.

“It was a good response for us as we were the late kick-off.”

As with their previous two meetings with the Point this term it was a tense encounter and the visitors were forced to upped the ante after Kealan Dillon’s spectacular opener.

O’Donnell was delighted with the character they showed to hit back after Dillon’s wonder goal.

“The way the game went and going 1-0 down, I think it was really important for us to definitely show a wee bit of character and go and win the game,” he said.

“I think as a group we gathered ourselves to go again.

“At 0-0 you can sometimes go through the emotions and get through games, but once you go 1-0 down, that urgency has to come into your play.

“Yes, it was fantastic to respond and win the game but I think that urgency needs to come quicker than that.

“In the first half we put the ball in the net but unluckily for ‘Skinner’ it does hit his arm.

“However, if that goes in, then you are saying ‘Coleraine have a real urgency about them today’ as we would be on the front foot.

“I think we did play well in the first-half without putting the ball in the back of the net but we did certainly up a few gears after going behind.

“The longer it goes 1-0, the more belief they get that they can hold on and feel more comfortable.

“It was important to get that goal straight away, it gave us the belief that we aren’t going to lye down and we are here for the three points and nothing is going to stop us.

“I think it does feel like a big three points for us.

“We knew coming here today that we had to win at all costs and it was a case of three points or nothing for us.”

O’Donnell is more renowned to keeping goals out than scoring, but he was happy to help his team out.

“I don’t think anyone in our team would hold their hands up and say they’ve scored enough goals this season, which includes me and Aaron Canning, our midfielders and wingers,” he said.

“It’s about kicking on now and putting the ball in the back of the net.”

The Bannsiders head to The Oval tonight for the first part of a double header against the Glens.

Two points separate the teams with Mick McDermott's third-placed side having a game in hand and O'Donnell is expecting a two tight games.

“I think it will be difficult," he said.

“It is one of those ones were both teams won’t want to give too much away on Tuesday night.

“For us, it is black and white in the sense that we have to win both games.

“We don’t look past Tuesday night as we want to win the game and then we will see where it takes us.

“Realistically, the gaffer and players know that we need to pick up as many maximum points as possible between now and the end of the season."



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