Stephen O’Donnell happy for Coleraine to prove people wrong

Stephen O'Donnell celebrates his goal against Linfield
Stephen O'Donnell celebrates his goal against Linfield

Coleraine’s 4-2 win over Linfield on Saturday will have raised a few eyebrows around the league.

The Bannsiders have not really been spoken about as contenders so far this season, but Saturday’s result will quite rightly make people sit up and take notice.

They were fully deserving of their win over the reigning champions and maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Skipper Stephen O’Donnell scored the third for Oran Kearney’s men, and speaking afterwards he said he’s quite happy for his side to stay under the radar.

“I think that suits us down to the ground,” said the central defender.

“Let them talk about the Belfast clubs, let them talk about Larne and Ballymena.

“We are happy to turn up every week, work hard and produce results and performances.

"Because of what happened last year and our inconsistency, I think teams might underestimate us a little bit, but our result today might make people sit up and take note.

“There’s been no talk about Coleraine this summer and we are happy to go along with that and prove people wrong every week.”

One of the major driving forces behind the Bannsiders good start to the season is the return of Oran Kearney to the managerial hot seat.

O’Donnell says the boss demands the highest standards from his players.

“I think it’s what the gaffer demands because if you don’t meet his levels or perform, you just won’t play,” he said.

“Everyone has bought into it and it’s great as we know how successful we were the last time he was here.

“The two performances were good in large parts. For the Cliftonville one with them being in Europe, they were always going to come on stronger in the last 15 minutes, but we should be sitting here with nine points, but we are not.

"With the frustration of not winning against Cliftonville or Glentoran, I think getting the three points today is perfect to get us up and running.

“As Oran said to us in the changing room, our performance wasn’t the whole package or the end, that’s just the start of it.

“First and foremost getting the win was the most important thing for us, especially considering we should have won last Saturday and on Tuesday night against Glentoran.

“The performance especially in the first-half was excellent and in many ways it was a perfect away performance.

“Once they scored the first goal the momentum of the game changed somewhat and we are disappointed about that.

“If you look back at the game, I don’t think they had too many chances from open play and whilst we dealt with a bit of pressure at 3-2, I don’t think they were any last ditch tackles or anything like that.

“It’s nice to get the first three points out of the way.”

O’Donnell is targeting another three points when they face his former side Institute this Saturday.

He said: “There’s not point in us coming to Windsor Park and collecting all three points, if we can’t beat a bottom six side at home.”