COLERAINE manager Rodney McAree was happy to see his players register another three points as they swept aside Cliftonville at The Showgrounds…
First-half goals from Eoin Bradley and Stephen Lowry had the Bannsiders well on their way but Cliftonville responded after the break to reduce the arrears to a single goal as Liam Bagnall’s deflected effort found the net.
However the two-goal cushion was quickly restored as Aaron Canning notched his first strike since returning to the club, before James McLaughlin came off the bench to add further gloss to the scoreline.
Speaking after the game, boss McAree was delighted with how many points his side secured over the festive period.
“For us to get ten points from a possible twelve over Christmas is fantastic,” he said.
“If someone had have offered us that prior to the last four games I would have taken their arm off for it.
“Unfortunately we did not get all twelve but we did run it very close and there are huge positives to take from that.
“We have certainly turned a corner with results as we are now four games unbeaten with an Irish Cup tie to look forward to.
“One thing that we have tried to focus on in recent weeks is hard work and making sure that we are delivering our best.
“We have a lot of quality footballers in the squad and Jamie Glackin and Ben Doherty coming in will only add to that.”
McAree also paid tribute to the outgoing Ciaron Harkin and admits his door ‘is always open’ should the midfielder seek a return to The Showgrounds.
“Unfortunately we lose Ciaron Harkin who has been exceptional since I have joined the football club,” he added.
“Ciaron has led by example and he is still only a young kid and he has an opportunity of going to Derry City which is his home town club and the team he supports.
“I wish Ciaron all the success in the world and he joins Derry City with my best wishes and the door is always open should he wish to return.
“Graham Crown has done exceptionally well in recent games and today he was up against Rory Donnelly and Joe Gormley and you do not come up against many tougher than that.
“Gareth McConaghie was excellent today also and I feel that his performance was as good as I have seen him.
“James McLaughlin has scored three goals in four games and Eoin Bradley scored his first goal since I joined the club as well and I thought he done exceptionally well and led the line well but we must make sure we are hitting that level of performance each week it just can not be a one off.”
Glackin and Doherty are in line to make their debuts for the club this weekend, and McAree insists he is still looking to add to his squad as the January transfer window official opened.
”We are delighted with the additions we have made so far but we would like to add to it,” he concluded.
”January is a difficult month to get players in but we will work hard to make that happen.”