Match Preview

OK expecting “tough fixture”

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney insists his players have no other option but to pick themselves back up again as they face Portadown tomorrow afternoon…

The Bannsiders have lost their last two games in the Premiership ahead of the visit of Portadown, who appointed Niall Currie as manager for the second time this week.

Despite the Ports sitting bottom of the Premiership standings to date, Kearney stressed that his side have never got it easy against the County Armagh club.

“We’ve got to stick at it, the players are frustrated in there, last week was frustrating but we’ve got to pick ourselves up again,” he said.

“Nobody else is going to pick us up, we will get back to training this week and work hard to try and put it right next week.

“The Portadown team we played earlier on in the season and even last season was up there with one of the toughest fixtures we had.

“I would be quite clear this weekend that it will be no different.

“Any Portadown team we’ve played in the last two years has been tough and tight affairs.

“There’s never a huge amount of it but we need to hit the level we know we can hit.”

Coleraine would be punished for defensive mistakes and a lack of killer instinct in front of goal in the aforementioned defeat to Cliftonville.

Kearney conceded that his side’s start that saw them fall 2-0 behind in the first eight minutes was far from ideal.

“It was a crazy start,” he added.

“We missed a chance after 40 seconds, we then concede two horrendous goals and it was a really poor start to the game.

“The only credit I can give the players is that I think in the next 10 or 15 minutes they are full adrenaline but we were able to take the sting out of it, even though we were at home and 2-0 down.

“I don’t remember there being any attempts on our goal in the first-half after that and we found our feet and got a response through Conor which gave us a chance of rectifying the scenario.

“The frustrating thing for us is that we had a decent start to the second-half but the third goal is just an individual error which gave us a mountain to climb.

“We flipped the system to give ourselves a chance to score and we got a goal out of it, but for me with 15 minutes to go, scoring the goal down at that end I’m expecting a grandstand finish but we just don’t grab a hold of it.

“You’re looking for those star men to grab a hold of the game, and whether we get something or not, at least throw balls into the box or ask questions of them.

“It just never felt that way and when you go to three at the back, you enter a game of basketball and we tried to be expansive but you run the risk of getting caught at the other side.

“From experience in the past, we want it to be us ahead and them to chase it with 15 minutes to go so we can pick them off on the counter attack.”