CURTIS Allen has hailed Coleraine’s character after what he called ‘a tough week’.
Allen was the Bannsiders match winner on Saturday as he fired home what turned out to be the winner as Oran Kearney’s men beat Cliftonville for the second time in five days and blowing the Reds’ unbeaten run to bits.
“It has been a tough week for us after all the antics of Tuesday night and the hype of getting into the final,” said Allen after the game.
“So it would have been easy for us to come here with the wrong attitude and maybe go through the motions.
“But we came here determined to do our jobs and Oran had us focused on picking up another three league points as with Glentoran not playing today we had the chance to move into fourth place outright.
“Solitude is always a difficult place to come and get a result, so it’s good whenever you do it.
“But to do it twice when they were on such a great run shows what we are capable of and it shows the character of this team.
“We came here with confidence, just as we do when we go anywhere as we are confident of taking three points anywhere.
“We want to push on in the league but we have to take it one game at a time.
“I don’t think many people fancied us to win on Tuesday night and again today, but thankfully we’ve proved them wrong both times.
“It shows what we are capable of as a squad.
“Even today when we went one down, a lot of teams would have just folded, but it shows our character and the confidence that we have that we kept going and deservedly picked up the three points.
“Winning is a great habit to get into and you can’t wait for the next game to come round.
“We’ve Glentoran at home on Tuesday night and we’ll be going all out to win the game and open up a gap between us and them.
“For myself to get the winner if brilliant. I had a chance in the first half when I hit the bar, I thought it had gone in, but it wasn’t given, so it was good to get another chance and stick it away.
“I don’t score too many with my right - some people would say I don’t even have a right foot!
“It just popped out for me and I managed to stick it in the far corner. As long as it hit the back of the net it doesn’t really matter.”
Boss Oran Kearney praised Allen for his strike and felt he was unlucky not to grab another.
“From our angle it looked like it bounced behind the line and out again,” he said.
“Curtis thought it had as well, but the linesman was 20 yards or so behind play, he’d been caught out by Gavin’s kick as well. Curtis put in a really good shift yesterday, so it was great to see him get the winner.
“It was a good finish as well, that’s what Curtis is all about. You want your strikers to be in those positions at the vital moments and Curtis is certainly delivering the goods this season.”