Oran Kearney relishes league Cup draw

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney and assistant manager William Murphy.'Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney and assistant manager William Murphy.'Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com

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Coleraine manager Oran Kearney said he felt it was destined his side would be paired with Ballymena United in the League Cup draw.

The Bannsiderswill travel to their old rivals on Wednesday 18th November in the last eight of the competition following Saturday evening’s draw.

There was a huge cheer from the Coleraine fans still in the ground after the 1-0 win over Dungannon Swifts.

And Kearney told Times Sport he felt he two teams were fated to meet one another.

“I’m not surprised with the draw, sometimes it’s destined,” said Kearney.

“We’ve met each other a few times in cup competitions in recent years, and there has been a few near misses. This is one all the fans will look forward to, especially under lights.

“We’re in great form at the minute, things are going really well for us at this moment in time. There’s a month to go until the game though.

“There’s some players who we would like to get back from injury to give us another boost and leave us in an even stronger position.

“But I’m sure Ballymena, as much as all the other teams who are left in the competition, will be thinking we’re one game away from a semi final and two away from a final.

“It’s a huge opportunity for all eight teams involved in the tournament.”

It’s back to league action this Saturday with Bannsiders hoping to extend their winning run.

The win over Dungannon was the team’s fourth League win on the spin, the first time they have done this since 2011.

But Kearney knows it will be a tough test for his charges on Saturday as Cliftonville visit The Showgrounds, with their 3-0 win over the Bannsiders earlier in the season still fresh in the minds.

“The game against Cliftonville earlier this season was very much a game of two halves. Cliftonville showed us in the second half what they can do when they open up and get playing,” said Kearney.

“We’ll be under no illusions about how tough it will be against them on Saturday.

“We’re glad to get through today’s game and get another two good sessions under our belt this week and hopefully we can keep this wee bit of momentum going.

“They are in fantastic form at the minute too. I sent Gerard (Lyttle) a message there after he got the job to wish him all the boss and to welcome him to the mad world!

“He’s a great fella and he’s there on merit, and deservedly so. The form they’ve shown since he took over has been brilliant, so it makes for a very intriguing game week.”