Match Reaction

Accounts Cleared – OK

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney admits he “can’t stand over” his players’ performance as they drew a blank against Portadown yesterday afternoon…

Despite making a return to the top six with the point at Shamrock Park, the Stripes would fail to create any clear cut opportunities against Matthew Tipton’s side.

The Bannsiders would try several different formations in a bid to find a winner but Kearney would be left frustrated as his side failed to overly test Jethren Barr throughout the 90 minutes.

“It’s disappointing and really really disappointing in relation to we’ve only had one shot on target through Stephen Lowry in the first-half,” he said.

“We tried a few different formations, we’ve tried a range of different personnel and at no stage can we work it out or find a way to start creating chances.

“I just felt we didn’t do our jobs over the pitch, we weren’t as sharp as we’ve been in recent weeks and the game swung too much in relation to we would maybe go up and throw the ball into their box and it would come out and they would turn it over too easily and get up the pitch.

“Overall, a very frustrating day and I’ve stood over the players in relation to the performances of late because they have been good but I can’t stand over that performance today as it wasn’t good enough.

“The players know that and we all know that, so we’ve got to get back to work on Tuesday night now.”

With a League Cup final on the horizon, as well as crucial matches in the Danske Bank Premiership and Irish Cup, Kearney remarked that his squad are starting from scratch.

“I’ve said it to the players in there that I’ve been loyal to those who have got us to this point in the season so far, but I think over the last few weeks, you have to say that people have withdrawn what credit they have built up in their account as such,” he continued.

“On Tuesday night, everybody starts with a clean slate and we are back to scratch.

“We had a lot of the ball in other games and created chances such as Boxing Day and we have been in double figures in terms of chances most weeks.

“For me and I’m probably frustrated at this moment in time, we had a lot of the ball but we struggled big time.

“Our decision making, our quality of thought, our quality of execution was really really poor today and it looked like we could carry on forever and not score.”

The Bannsiders host Carrick Rangers next weekend and Kearney admits he has been impressed by their results under Stuart King this season.

“It’s just our next game,” he added.”

“Carrick have fought and fought and have had massive improvement under Stuart this year and have picked up some big performances on the road and at home as well.

“It will be as tough as today if not tougher, so for us, we have to get our house in order and it’s as simple as that.

“You could say that people haven’t been at it today or off the boil slightly, but with that, we have to get back to basics and try to get performances on the pitch again.”