Kearney happy with squad as window shuts

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Oran Kearney says he is very happy with the business he completed during the January transfer window despite opting against strengthening his side further before the deadline on Friday.

As we revealed last week Kearney had been keen to bring in one more player, this was former Bannsider Gareth Harkin. The left sided player left the Showgrounds before Kearney took over in 2011. Harkin headed to Australia before returning last year.

Kearney was keen to bring him on board but admitted he did have concerns about his fitness as he had been out of the game for so long. The Baqnnsiders boss praised Harkin though for his honestly as they held talks last week.

“I was keen to bring Gareth in as not only is he a top player but he’s also a good lad too,” said Kearney.

“At this stage in the season though you are looking for someone to come in and make an immediate impact, they have to be able to hit the ground running.

“I was concerned that because Gareth hadn’t played in so long he would find this tough. I had to give him a lot of credit though as he was completely honest with me. He knows we have a very big couple of months coming up and admitted that he probably wouldn’t make that immediate impact I’m looking for.

“So we decided to leave it there but it’s something I would be keen to revisit come the summer.

“The window has been good for us though. The guys who have come in have made an impact straight away and helped us. As I say that’s what I was looking for.

“I’m working with a smaller squad now which again I wanted to do as it ups the intensity in training.

“Plus the young lads who have gone out on loan are gaining invaluable experience playing first team football, which they probably wouldn’t have got if they had stayed here. They will come back to us all the better now as this experince will be a big step forward in their development.

“We have to kick on now and keep reeling in the teams above us, sixth place is still a very real possibility for us. We are targeting Ballymena and hopefully when we play them next we will be within touching distance.”

Meanwhile Chairman Colin McKendry will be holding an open meeting with the fans in the Social Club on Monday 17 February, commencing at 7.30pm.

During the meeting club representatives will provide updates to supporters whilst also giving an opportunity to raise queries and suggestions on the development of the football club.

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