FOOTBALL: Kearney challenges his players ahead of Glentoran game

BOUNCE BACK: Oran Kearney
BOUNCE BACK: Oran Kearney

ORAN Kearney said it’s nice to be on top of the Danske Bank Premiership, but he has challenged his players to stay there.

The Bannsiders hit the summit following Saturday’s win over Distillery, but they have another tough assignment this weekend as they travel to take on fellow high flyers Glentoran at The Oval.

“It’s nice to be up there and of course it’s where you want to be so we’ll not be complaining,” Kearney told Times Sport.

“But the challenge to the players now is how long do they want to stay there.

“It’s going to be a tough game against the Glens, but every game is tough as we experienced this week against DC and Distillery, who at this point in time occupy the bottom two positions.

“Both of them have given us as tough a game as we’ve had all season.

“Every game is a cup final and next Saturday will be no different.

“We’ll rest up this week and get a couple of good sessions under our belts and focus on getting another positive result next week.”

Kearney will be without the suspended Kyle McVey and has injury doubts over David Ogilby and Aaron Canning, who both limped out of Saturday’s game.

“OG has five stitches in his calf from Tuesday night, it was a bit tender and he just wasn’t 100%. It’s a long season and the last thing we wanted to do was take a risk with him,” explained Kearney.

“Aaron had been complaining about a sore groin before the game. He got through to half time, but it always happens when you cool down and try to get going again it flares up and that’s what happened with him.

“I had one other defender on the bench but that would have been my last sub and again going down to 10 men we had to be careful we didn’t get another injury and end up going down to nine men.”