ORAN Kearney has called on Coleraine fans to do there bit on Saturday as the Bannsiders prepare for what is set to be their biggest test of the season so far.
Kearney’s men moved up to third place in the table at the weekend following their 2-0 win over Donegal Celtic.
And they have the chance to close the gap on leaders Linfield as the welcome them to The Showgrounds on Saturday.
And Kearney has called on the fans to get right behind the team for the crunch clash.
“I played here enough times down the years to know that the atmosphere cranks up a hundred-fold during these games and the players do feed off the crowd,” Kearney told Times Sport.
“I know Linfield will bring a big crowd with them, but I sincerely hope we get a big turnout too.
“We need the fans to be our twelfth man.
“The atmosphere in these sorts of games is so intense that you don’t need any motivation.
“People will bill it as a big game, but they are all big games because it doesn’t matter who you beat you only get three points for it.
“We’ll get our report from Drew Coyles and we’ll dust ourselves down this week and get a couple of good sessions under our belt before what is set up to be an exciting encounter here on Saturday.”
The Bannsiders boss was pleased to see his side bounce back and climb the table once more following last week’s defeat at Mourneview Park.
“Saturday’s victory was probably our most pleasing win of the season,” he said.
“Not just because of last week’s defeat, but because all the things I craved last week we showed today.
“All the things we spoke about during the week about playing against a tough side came through on Saturday.
“It’s nice to jump up the table, but as I always say I don’t really pay too much attention to the table until the New Year.
“If you take care of your own results then the table will look after itself.
“Obviously though I’m pleased that our form is good. We’re up to third now and to be honest I’d have bitten your arm off to be in that position after 10 games.”
Kearney also revealed that a bucket collection will take place at Saturday game against Linfield to help contribute towards the cost of Michael Hegarty operation which is scheduled for later this week.
“We had a date booked for Michael a couple of weeks ago but in simple terms we had no money,” he said.
“A few of the supporters’ clubs to be fair to them have weighed in with a sizeable contribution.
“And this Saturday we won’t be running the half time draw but we’ll be having bucket collections to try and raise as much as possible.
“Michael has also put a large portion of it in himself as he wants to get sorted as soon as possible and get back playing again.
“He is a top man and the last month or so has absolutely killed him. I would hate to see him with a real long term injury as he just hates not being involved.
“So it’s great that we can get him in and get the operation done and hopefully raise enough money to cover it.”
Meanwhile, Linfield boss David Jeffrey is expecting a tough test for his Linfield side, which will include former Coleraine striker Rory Patterson.
“It’s traditionally always a very difficult place to go,” said Jeffrey.
“I can’t remember ever going to Coleraine and getting an easy game either as a player or during my tenure as manager.
“Oran Kearney is doing a terrific job up there and I’m sure as a Linfield old boy it’s a game he will relish.
“And another former Blue man in Curtis Allen I’m sure will be out to impress on the day also.
“So we know it’s going to be a very difficult game for us but it’s one that I’m really looking forward too.”
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