COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney spoke to colerainefc.com’s Jonathan McNabb after watching side secure all three points against Cliftonville…
The Bannsiders had taken the lead through substitute Aaron Burns but were pegged back minutes later as Joe Gormley’s free-kick deflected off Stephen Lowry and into the net.
However Coleraine would secure the win on 90 minutes as clever build-up from Jamie McGonigle and Lowry teed up Burns to fire expertly past Richard Brush and secure a second successive victory.
“First and foremost it was a great game of football,” Kearney said.
“I don’t want to sound biased, but I felt we deserved to win the match. Cliftonville were the better side for the first 20 minutes but we missed three guilt-edged chances in the first-half.
“Whilst we spurned several opportunities, you have to give credit to Richard Brush who was excellent and he was like that last year at Ballinamallard.
“We are delighted to get the win and for Aaron Burns to score the winner after the birth of the son was surreal. It’s the same for Aaron Traynor who recently became a father, so to combine that with the three points is top notch.
“The winning goal was superb with Jamie’s run, Stevie’s sublime reverse pass and when Aaron pushed the ball onto his left foot, I knew the ball was for finding the net.
“Overall we are delighted to get up and running with two wins.”
Kearney was able to bring on Brad Lyons and Aaron Burns from the bench and whilst he might have been tempted to make more changes to his starting eleven, the boss insists he had to be ‘fair’ to those who started against Warrenpoint Town.
“I had to be fair to the players who played against Warrenpoint,” Kearney said.
“Brad was suspended last week and Aaron was unavailable due to family commitments.
“The young lads who played knew Cliftonville away would be a different kettle of fish, so I had to be fair and stick with the players.
“It’s important that whilst they have my backing, that I also have theirs and it’s a long season with over 50 games.”
The Irish Cup holders will be in the hat for Thursday’s Irn-Bru Challenge Cup second-round draw and Kearney admits the players will be looking forward to the competition.
“I’d say the hardcore fans will be looking for an away tie, so we will see what happens,” he continued.
“This is quite different to Europe as the competition is played mid-season and we will want to be competitive,
“The fact you’re playing different teams will make it interesting but we have plenty of big fixtures ahead.”
The manager also confirmed that his door will always remain open for possible arrivals before the transfer window closes.
“We are never done until the transfer window closes,” he concluded.
“We let Matthew join Dergview this week and we will get reports on his progress and we hope he kicks on.
“I’d say we have the smallest squad in the league with two goalkeepers and 17 outfield players, but it’s a squad full of quality. I’ve always said that we won’t sign anyone for the sake of it as we have a special changing room.
“If the transfer window closed tomorrow I’d be content with what we have, but if a player becomes available we will evaluate our options.
“We are always on the lookout for good players throughout the season.”