COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney spoke to the media after watching his side claim all three points against a stubborn Warrenpoint Town…
The Bannsiders dominated the majority of proceedings at The Showgrounds but failed to make their chances count until Josh Carson scored directly from a corner. Despite not hitting the heights of their win against Ballinamallard United, Kearney was full of praise for his side’s willingness to keep going.
“All week I had been looking at the weather forecast and I knew it was going to be a serious drying week,” Kearney said.
“The pitch is weird at the minute because it’s still quite soft underfoot and has cut up. But because there has been no dew or rain it was dried up a bit and looks like the sort of pitch you’d get in April.
“It was very bobbly as we saw a few times today.
“With the way we like to play, getting the ball down and knocking it about, it really doesn’t suit us.
“Then you get a team who sit with ten men behind the ball, take ages with goal kicks, so it was just one of those days when you have to get out with the three points.
“Credit to the lads because mental strength is key to keep believing and to keep going.
“There were a lot of oohs and aahs and near misses.
“Every single person in the crowd from about 20 minutes in thought it had 0-0 written all over it.
“You could feel the anxiety in the ground, which we probably don’t need at this stage of the season.
“So credit to the lads they kept going and got the goal, albeit a fortuitous one, but one which I believe if you work hard then you get lucky.
“I’ve saw loads of days like this in the past were you get an inspired keeper or shots are going past the post and something like that happens.
“This time next week no-one will care, it’s down as three points, a clean sheet and we move on.
“Our job is to win the next game, and if we keep doing that it is all we can do. It’s up to Crusaders what they do.”
Kearney hopes the Bannsiders removed Jamie McGonigle from proceedings early enough to avoid a serious injury and will also assess the fitness of winger Stephen Dooley.
“I think we got Jamie early enough, he’s just tweaked the hamstring,” Kearney added.
“He wanted Alan Millar over for a bit of a rub and treatment and hopefully go again, but the minute we knew it was his hamstring we took him straight off the pitch.
“Hopefully because we got him off quickly enough there won’t be a huge amount of damage.
“Stephen was out running today hopefully we can integrate him back into full training and we will see how he reacts to that.”
Kearney also questioned the decision to allow a trial of officials from Saudi Arabia to referee the game and believes there were other fixtures more suitable.
“Having the officials over was not ideal in my opinion, and I wasn’t happy when I heard about it,” Kearney concluded.
“I’m not being disrespectful but there was probably two or three other games in the division today which weren’t as significant as our game or Crusaders’ game today.
“Why pick us for an experiment? How did we get chosen?
“You just don’t know what’s coming. There was three or four decisions for both sides you would query today.
“He hasn’t aided either side, but it just hasn’t been an ideal scenario on a stressful enough day on a bobbly pitch, it was the last thing we needed.
“I’m glad it hasn’t cost us with a debatable red card or penalty.
“They gave a couple of soft fouls then let other more dangerous things go.
“If it was sixth against seventh here today then I wouldn’t have cared anyone could have reffed the game.
“It’s great experience for them and I don’t begrudge that element of it.
“With the magnitude of this game I don’t know why it was us.”