IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine chief Oran Kearney enjoying life at top end of Danske Bank Premiership table

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney

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Coleraine boss Oran Kearney admits he is becoming accustomed to the rarified air at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership table.

The Bannsiders have been the shock-troopers of the season so far – they trail joint leaders Linfield and Crusaders by merely four points after 13 starts.

They battled out a scoreless draw with Cliftonville last weekend – a result that suggests their place in the top four is fully warranted.

Kearney’s impressive unit must negotiate another test of character when they travel to The Oval on Saturday to face a managerless Glentoran, but the gaffer is relishing the challenge.

“The league table doesn’t lie – we are certainly not in false position,” beams Kearney. “We are where we are on merit. We are well organised and we work hard in every game. The key has been bringing in the young players. It has been well documented about the impact they have made on the club.

“Not only are they young, but they have a lot of quality. They mix well with the older and experienced players. There is a real feel good atmosphere in the dressing and I think it transmits on to the pitch.

“We are more than happy with the start to the season – we are not shocked in the least. We’ve worked for every point and we certainly haven’t stolen any results.”

Kearney stresses the same level of performance will be required at the Oval.

“It will be another tough one – they all are,” he added. “They are going through the process of changing manager. I don’t know whether a new man will be in charge by the time we arrive there. But we’ll prepare in our usual way.”