CURTIS Allen and Ruairi Harkin are expected to make a return to the Coleraine starting eleven for todays Danske Bank Premiership clash at home to Glentoran (kick off 3pm).
The influential duo were rested for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Portadown as boss Oran Kearney concerned that the busy festive period would take its toll on the pair.
“It pained me to start with them on the bench,” admitted Kearney afterwards.
“Both of them were really keen to play but with the number of games we have in such a short space of time, I have a duty as manager to protect my players.
“Had they played 90 minutes on a heavy pitch, it would have lessened the chances of them playing a full game against Glentoran, or against Linfield on Saturday.
“Obviously it wasn’t ideal against a good side like Portadown, but it was something I felt I had to do.”
Meanwhile, the New Year signals the opening of the January transfer window. Kearney would like to add new faces to his squad, but he pointed out that players would have to leave in order to make this possible.
“At the minute we’re sitting with a squad of 22 players, including those who are out injured,” he said.
“While I would like to do some business in January, bearing in mind the squad size and budgetary constraints, we will probably have to move some players on if we are to bring anyone else in.
“January is a great opportunity to freshen up the squad and should the right players become available, I’ll be doing my utmost to bring them to Coleraine.”