Oran Kearney wants League Cup progression

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney

Oran Kearney is targeting BetMcLean League Cup success this term but is expecting a tough encounter when his Coleraine side welcome Glentoran to The Showgrounds for tonight’s third round tie.

The two sides played out a 2-2 draw at The Oval back in August and the Bannsiders boss feels this evening’s clash on the Ballycastle Road will follow a similar theme.

“We have Glentoran visiting, which will be incredibly tough,” said Kearney.

“We had a ding-dong with them up there at the start of the season.

“They’ve been full of spirit, they’re definitely an improved side and made strides this season.”

You have to go back to April 2017 for the last time Kearney lost a domestic home game with the Bannsiders.

He is hoping that run continues this evening as they bid to progress in the competition.

“Home advantage is the key thing for us and it’s important we go out and back up today with another big performance,” said Kearney.

“The League Cup is a competition that hasn’t been kind to us throughout the years, so it is one we would like to progress further in.

“Our form has been good this season, but probably being critical, we have huffed and puffed in a few games like last Saturday.

“We have had a few red cards which have cost us points, but overall we have to be happy with the start we have made.”

Glentoran will be without suspended duo Darren Murray and John Herron.

"John and Darren each have a one game suspension and Curtis Allen is still recovering from his early season injury," said Head Coach Mick McDermott.

"Paul O’Neill is away with the Northern Ireland U21 team following his deserved call up, while Robbie McDaid is still absent due to his recovery from concussion.

"So, we’re light up front but That will provide a chance for some of our other strong attacking options, such as Antonio Duric, Tom Byrne, Salou Jallow or Navid Nasseri, who’s been very sharp and impressive in training.

"Cup games are important to us, but I’d expect some of our younger players to take their chance when provided.

"Chris Gallagher came in and did very well against Cliftonville and the Likes of Mal Smith or James McCarthy can do the same. They haven’t let us down in any matches they’ve started so far.”

In the only other all-Premiership tie Dungannon Swifts host cup holders Linfield at Stangmore Park.

There is one game tomorrow night as struggling Glenavon host Newry City.

THIRD ROUND FIXTURES: Ballymena U vs Dollingstown; Cliftonville vs Bangor; Coleraine vs Glentoran; Dungannon S vs Linfield; Institute vs H&W Welders; Larne vs Dundela; Limavady Utd vs Crusaders; Glenavon vs Newry City (Wednesday)