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Coleraine aim to bow out of Europe with pride

COLERAINE welcome FK Haugesund to The Showgrounds as the Bannsiders host their first European match since 2004…

The Stripes suffered a disappointing 7-0 defeat in Norway, but will aim to secure a positive result as they host the Eliteserien outfit on the Ballycastle Road.

The home side were punished for missing two guilt-edged chances in the first-half as Haugesund ran out worthy winners in Scandinavia.

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney will be without the services of defender Lyndon Kane, but will have ‘keeper Chris Johns available for selection.

“It was a very tough evening against a good side last week,” Kearney said.

“From all my experiences of playing in Europe this happens.

“We knew the gulf coming into the game and we knew if they played to their best it would be a tough ask for us and that’s how it turned out to be.”

Coleraine’s last European tie at The Showgrounds was a famous 2-1 win over Portuguese opponents Uniao Leiria, and boss Kearney hopes the experiences gained this time around will help the young players at the club to develop.

“It will be an easy task for me to motivate the players,” Kearney revealed.

“It’s been a long time since we were last involved in this competition.

“The experiences gained from this will be fantastic for the development of our younger players.

“It will be exactly the same on Thursday night and we hope the preparations will carry us forward into the new season.”

As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).