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Match Preview

Kearney tells players to enjoy ‘being in the mix’

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney has challenged his players to remain in the upper echelons of the table as the Bannsiders visit leaders Linfield this evening (KO 7:45pm)…

Danske Bank Premiership

Overview:

Coleraine come into the fixture on the back of a draw against Glenavon at the weekend – a third successive stalemate with the Lurgan Blues this season! That result sees the Bannsiders remain nine points behind tonight’s opponents, having played a game less.

Linfield have been in great form and have won seven out of their last eight Danske Bank Premiership fixtures. David Healy’s men extended their advantage at the top of the table last weekend as goals from Jordan Stewart and Shayne Lavery sealed a 2-0 success against Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.

Previous meetings:

The encounter will be the third time the two clubs have squared off against each other this campaign.

The first was back in November as Linfield banked all three points from their visit to The Showgrounds. A goal in the first-half from Andy Waterworth had the Blues in control, before Jordan Stewart added a second after the break.

The last clash was back in February and it would be prove to be a cagey affair at Windsor Park. In truth, the game only sparked into life in the second-half as Shayne Lavery headed wide from Jordan Stewart’s cross, with Eoin Bradley missing at the other end from close range as the match finished goalless.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“It’s about enjoying being in the mix,” Kearney said.

“If I look back, the best times I have had, even tough, we ended up in second spot in the table.

“The memories of last season which sadly got cut short, the memories of a couple of seasons before that when Crusaders pipped us on the last day of the season, albeit it was hard to take.

“The run-in of those last ten games or so was unbelievable and some of the best memories I have in football.

“You just urge the players to be in that again and it’s a matter of hanging in there and trying to pick up as many points as possible.

“We still have Glentoran twice, Larne, Ballymena – we’ll have a say in it and that’s all you want.

Admission:

Supporters are not permitted inside the stadium due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However, the fixture will be shown live on the Sky Sports Football channel, with coverage starting at 7:35pm.

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