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ORAN Kearney has moved to assure fans the recent departures from the club have not been imposed upon him for financial reasons.

Kearney has been trimming his squad over the last month with Ciaran Clarke the latest player to be released. But the Bannsiders boss said it was his choice to cut the size of his playing squad down.

Speaking after Saturday’s win over Lisburn Distillery though Kearney said he has the full backing of the board in terms of his wage budget and dealings in the transfer market and that he will move for the right player if they become available.

“The board has had the meeting about raising the £35,000 and they are working hard with the fans to try and bring that in,” said Kearney.

“They haven’t said to me about the need to trim the squad, but I suppose subconsciously with the budget I control, which is a big part of the outgoings at the club, I have tried to rein it in a bit.

“No matter what budget I’m issued I’ll always work hard to work within it.

“If I have to run with the squad I have at the minute I’d be happy enough as we’ve 18 outfield players and two keepers.

“Ciaran’s departure this week was in the offing and the other departures worked for us as I felt the size of the squad was slightly big.”

Kearney was delighted to see the response of his players to bounce back from Tuesday night’s 5-1 defeat at the hands of Ballinamallard United with their win over Distillery on Saturday.

The Bannsiders boss pulled a shock before the game as he dropped skipper David Ogilby. Kearney said the defender is still working hard to get his sharpness back after missing eight weeks of the season through injury.

“It wasn’t a big decision to leave David out today,” he said.

“He has been fantastic for us since my time here and he is one of our big players, he was superb last season and was superb this season up until he picked up the injury.

“And with that injury and being out for a couple of months he’s lacking a bit of sharpness.

“And to be fair to David he’s the first to hold his hands up and admit that.

“The two week break coming up now will be good for us as we’ve a couple of friendlies organised and we’ll be putting the lads through a few tough sessions.

“Form is very much temporary with David and class is permanent and he is still a massive player and part of this club.”

The Bannsiders have no game now for a fortnight when they take on Ballinamallard again. But Kearney is determined to put the players through their paces.

“We’ve a few players who need a bit of work over the next fortnight. There’s a lot of big fixtures coming up over the next few weeks in the Setanta and Irish Cups. So it’ll give guys who need a rest time to get it and other who need work time to complete it,” added Kearney.

The club have announced they will play Glebe Rangers in a friendly match this week.

The friendly fixture has been arranged due to the Bannsiders enforced two-week break resulting from Cliftonville, who were due to be the Stripes next opponents, reaching Saturday’s Irn Bru League Cup Final.

Coleraine will visit the Riada Stadium to play Glebe Rangers on Wednesday 23 January (kick off 7.30pm). The friendly squad will feature up to 11 of the Bannsiders’ first team squad plus a number of Reserve team players, with CFC Reserves Manager Johnny Law taking charge for the evening.