Match Reaction

McAree hails Douglas’ performance

COLERAINE boss Rodney McAree believes yesterday’s draw against Linfield was a fair result as both defences were on top at The Showgrounds…

The Bannsiders created a series of opportunities but were thwarted and then had lady luck on their side as Joshua Robinson and Michael O’Connor both hit the woodwork for the visitors.

McAree was pleased with his side’s defensive efforts as they kept yet another clean sheet.

“I think we created more chances yesterday and – although they hit our crossbar and post – I think that was the only opportunities that they had,” he said.

“We’ve had good opportunities at the other end and another day, Jamie’s header goes in as he got up a bit early and wasn’t able to direct it in.

“It was a good performance, a clean sheet and not many teams will keep Linfield at bay. Linfield have proved this season that they are very hard to score against as they’ve only conceded once.

“Whenever you’re missing certain personnel from your starting eleven, you’re maybe thinking it could be too tough an ask, but the players who came in were excellent.

“I thought we showed great energy and tempo especially in attacking areas. Jamie’s runs were exceptional and he put Linfield’s defence on the back foot straight away.

“His chance in the first-half was a well drilled effort, Parky has cut in from the right-hand side and Roy Carroll is going the other away and actually saves it with his legs.

“You need a little bit of the rub of the green and lady luck on your side and perhaps we had that as we could have easily lost the game 1-0.”

McAree was full of praise for Steven Douglas’ contribution as the defender put in a man-of-the-match performance against the league leaders.

“I think the pressure that came from Linfield was for around 10 or 15 minutes but when you play against them, you always expect to be under the cosh for a period of time,” he added.

“I thought we withstood it, our two centre-halves were terrific and I don’t know how Steven Douglas does it at 41-years-old.

“He came on against Ards and I was in the stand thinking ‘what’s going on here’ but honestly he’s a Rolls Royce and makes it look easy.

“His reading of the game is outstanding and his injury was more cramp than anything else.

“Burnsy also had to be withdrawn through cramp and we were more worried that if we pushed him through it, the cramp would have turned into a strain, so we thought at that stage we would do the right thing.”

McAree revealed it has been a ‘fantastic’ first week in the hotseat at The Showgrounds but believes the squad needs some more depth moving forward.

“It’s been a fantastic first week,” he concluded.

“From the previous Friday to Tuesday was a long time as I couldn’t get a training session with the players.

“When you get that training session, then you want to get a game and it was a great occasion to be a part of. It was probably why I was so keen to take the role.

“It was a great experience and I’ll be like a sponge soaking up information from Winkie Murphy, Trevor McKendry and Paul Owens as they’ve been a part of it for a long time.

“They are going to be key moving forward and I think it was a great decision by the football club that they want to hold onto them for as long as possible.

“I think we have a lack of depth to be honest.

“We work with low enough numbers and I think we have a squad of 22 players and that includes 3 goalkeepers and a 17-year-old.

“It maybe needs a little bit more depth added to it but if you have everyone fit, then you have a squad who is capable of beating anybody.

“We could perhaps have a little bit more depth to have more options.”

 

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