Skipper Beverland rallies his troops produce a big finale to the season

Club captain Howard Beverland.
Club captain Howard Beverland.

Coleraine captain Howard Beverland is eyeing a successful 2016 for his team and supporters as he wants to end the season on a high.

The Bannsiders have had a memorable first half of the season and sit in a very healthy league position.

But the disappointment of the League Cup semi final defeat is still in the memory, but Beverland is determined to put it behind them over the next four months.

“The boss has targetted top six for us, but we don’t want to settle for that, we want to keep pushing and we have shown there’s not much between the teams at the top,” he told Times Sport.

“We are more than capable of being in the hunt for the top thre come the end of the season. Crusaders will be hard to beat but I think after that it’s there for everybody. We need to take care of every game.

“The Irish Cup also comes into play now in January and we will be doing all we can to progress in the competition.”

There was a massive crowd in The Showgrounds on Boxing Day and Beverland was delighted to have been able to send them away happy.

“It was touched on before the game it shows the potential of what this club can achieve and the potential fan base,” he said.

“It did give us an extra spring in our step and hopefully we showed the fans what we are about and have enticed them to come back.

“It was great to send them home happy. It wasn’t just about the three points but it was also a good game.

“It’s fantastic also because of all the sacrifices the players make over Christmas with their family and lifestyle choices.

“We just try and prepare as best as we can and it all pays off whe we go out and get the result.

“I would have been very disappointed if we hadn’t taken the three points today. We maybe should have ran out more clear winners.

“But we’ll take the three points and get back on the horse again. The boss said before the game we had to match the intensity and passion that they have as it’s derby day and our performance had to be right up there.

“We had desire today, but I think ability overtook as well, our boys just showed they have a wee bit more in their locker.

“It was important to get back to winning ways again.

“To be fair though the performances as a whole over those four defeats were pretty good but the results weren’t there. There was never any weakness inside the changing room or a fear that we wouldn’t get going again.

“We knew that we needed to go out and compete and take our chances when they came along and we were confident we would come back with three points.”

Beverland also had a special word of praise for two-goal hero Jamie McGonigle.

“Jamie was excellent for us, every chance he had he worked the keeper. He took his goals well for a 19-year-old on derby day in front of such a huge crowd,” he said.

“It shows the ability he has and how far he has developed.

“There’s great competition for places and everyone knows they have to put in a performance to keep their place in the team.”