A lot of pundits have been surprised by Coleraine this season and have been waiting for the Bannsiders’ bubble to burst.
But Saturday’s draw at home to Cliftonville was further evidence Oran Kearney’s men deserve their lofty league position.
“It’s nice to see that we are not in a false position in the league,” said the Bannsiders’ boss after the game.
“We are well organised and we work hard and dug deep to earn a result today. We wanted to the right the wrongs of our previous match against Cliftonville and that was the benchmark.
“The key thing was bringing in the young players and it has been well documented about the impact they have made on the club.
“Not only are they young, but they have a lot of quality and bring a lot of identity to the club. They mix well with the older players and we have a really good feel about the place and I think it transmits onto the pitch.
“We are more than happy with our start to the season and we are not shocked by it. I feel we are there on merit and we haven’t stolen any results. Our performances have been as solid as they were today.
‘You would have to say that the draw was a fair result. We have had a goal disallowed and Brad’s chance with ten minutes to go and we maybe looked like the team who had the best opportunity to take the three points. Although, you can’t begrudge that a point was the fair result.
“We have to be happy with our work and it has been a great month and we have picked up a few wins and Cliftonville have been the same. It was the two in-form teams in the league and we have picked up point, so we move on.”
The visitors had a number of chances in the first half with a strong wind on their back, but Kearney was quick to praise keeper Michael Doherty for keeping them at bay.
“The breeze had a strong impact on the game and we urged the players to get shots away from 25-30 yards like Cliftonville had done in the first-half,” he said.
“Michael was forced into making a great save from Stephen Garrett as the ball bounced up from the surface and he managed to stop it with his shoulder.
“Glenn Millar has come in and has worked Doherty hard in training and he has lost a little bit of weight and is looking sharper.
“I think the penalty saves in the cup a few weeks ago and the fact he has generally made more saves is down to sharpness and fitness and it’s a credit to Glenn.
“When the game entered into the final 15 minutes I think both sides would have settled for a point. The manner of the performance was more satisfying as Cliftonville are pushing towards the top two positions in the league and I think we had to flex our muscles more to get a result.
“We were solid throughout our defence and I thought that Beverland and Douglas were fantastic in particular, as well as Kane who was super again. “
Next up is Glentoran away and Kearney is expecting another hard game.
He said: “It will be another tough game and they might have a new manager arrive there through the week which will give them a lift. There are no easy games in this league and every single one bring their own problems.”