Short-term goals at heart of Coleraine’s fine form

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney has highlighted the short-term goals behind his players’ impressive run of form.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 1:24 am

The Bannsiders host Cliftonville tonight aiming to extend a winning sequence to seven successive Danske Bank Premiership appearances.

And Kearney views a measured approach as key to the recent rewards.

“We had the opposite momentum before where we lost four in a row,” said Kearney after a win on Saturday over Crusaders. “We kept our goals very short term.

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

“Tuesday night could we go five on the bounce?

“Today the goal was can we get the three points to go six on the bounce?

“That’s all we’re looking at this point in time.

“It’s been a tough season to date and it’s gonna get tougher over these next few weeks.

“We’re delighted to get through this first part of it but we’ve another big one coming on Tuesday.

“I think you have to ring the changes again for Tuesday because I don’t think you have any choice.

“Normally in the past the team would pick itself Saturday to Saturday and the formation and everything that goes with it.

“We won last Saturday and made three or four changes for the Larne game and then we made three or four changes again today.

“It’s needs must, we’re part-time players – nobody’s gonna play all 13 games in 43 days.

“From that point of view we have to, non-negotiable.”

The packed midweek programme also includes a test for a Ballymena United side aiming to extend an unbeaten spell to nine fixtures.

“We know how tough it will be against Dungannon Swifts,” said Ballymena boss David Jeffrey. “We all know (Swifts boss) Kris Lindsay well.

“He was a warrior in his playing days and I’ve no doubt his team will have a similar attitude.

“I am really proud of the performance (Saturday’s win over Carrick Rangers).

“I can’t praise the team enough, I was delighted for big Conor Keeley, because that was a tough night to make your debut.

“Jude Winchester’s display was top-drawer, he worked extremely well off the ball, especially when the wind was against us, and his distribution was excellent.

“He played an enormous part in the first goal, producing a sublime pass to Paul (McElroy), who still had quite a bit of work to do.

“Jude actually picked up a hand injury in the first half but wouldn’t hear tell of coming off.

“Jude then finished off a great night’s work with a quite spectacular second goal.

“Everyone know what a talent he is, but he is now applying himself even more.

“All Bryan (McLoughlin) and I can do is encourage him, the rest is up to him.”

The top flight’s basement side, Carrick Rangers, hit the road to tackle a Warrenpoint Town side fresh from weekend success over Portadown.

“It’s another difficult one for us,” said Carrick boss Niall Currie. “To be honest, I thought our lines were good and we defended well (against Ballymena).

“It was Chris Ramsey’s first game of the year, I thought that was a good part of our game, we looked nice and compact.”

TUESDAY’S FIXTURES: (7.45 kick-off unless otherwise stated): Glenavon v Larne (7.30), Crusaders v Glentoran, Linfield v Portadown, Warrenpoint Town v Carrick Rangers, Coleraine v Cliftonville, Ballymena United v Dungannon Swifts.

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