FOOTBALL: Kearney expects a tough test

BOUNCE BACK: Oran Kearney
BOUNCE BACK: Oran Kearney

ORAN Kearney is expecting another tough test this Saturday as his high flying Bannsiders entertain old foes Ballymena United.

Kearney has yet to taste defeat against the Sky Blues since taking over at The Showgrounds winning all three meetings last term. But he is expecting a tougher assignment this Saturday with United going well under new boss Glenn Ferguson.

“In the last couple of seasons we’ve had a good run of results against them and we’d love to continue that, but they’re a different proposition now,” Kearney told Times Sport.

“Ballymena have improved a lot since Glenn Ferguson took over, they’re a very fit, well-organised team and haven’t conceded many goals this season.

“For the first time in a good while, both teams are going into a derby game in decent form but we’re confident we can do the business.”

The Bannsiders are second in the league following Saturday’s goalless draw at The Oval. Kearney though was quick to admit that his side haven’t hit their stride just yet.

“We’ve had a tough start to the season in terms of fixtures, so to be up around the top of the table after seven games is fantastic,” he said.

“Results are the thing that we are all judged on, but I’m still concerned about the performance. I still feel that we have something left in the tank.

“We are not firing on all cylinders. It’s a good sign, because if we are getting good results without being fully on the money, hopefully we can kick into the final gear in weeks to come.

“It would be great if we are in this position with seven games to go, instead of seven games in.

“Linfield are undoubtedly the benchmark, but it’s a credit to all the teams the work they are doing to try and close the gap. It can only be good for the league.”