OK looking to build

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney admits he is looking for his squad to create some momentum ahead of Monday night’s televised clash against Cliftonville…

The Bannsiders returned to winning ways last weekend as a hat-trick from Jamie Glackin and a first goal in Coleraine colours from Matthew Fitzpatrick earned all three points against Warrenpoint Town at Milltown.

However, attention now turns to the fixture against Paddy McLaughlin’s men, who are off the back of lifting the County Antrim Shield against Ballymena United during the week.

“There’s another three points available against Cliftonville,” Kearney said.

“The Christmas period has been tough, particularly with a squad our size, we had a lot of tired bodies.

“The last week was probably been the first week when we’ve properly trained again.

“I think most teams are probably the same as it’s just about recovery and ticking over during that busy schedule.

“It’s nice to get back to just a Saturday match and a couple of sessions during the week.”

The last fixture at Solitude ended with a fracas between both sets of players but Kearney argued that the incident was blown out of proportion and revealed that there is a ‘huge amount of respect’ between the two sides.

“I think it will be a good game, I think there’s a huge amount of respect between the two clubs,” he added.

“If I’m being honest I don’t think there was a huge amount of issues between the players, it was nearly stewards and others who came in to get involved that incited our players more than anything else.

“As I say there is a huge amount of respect between the teams.

“It’s water under the bridge now and there was no yellow cards dished out at the time.

“It was pretty much handbags and emotion more than anything else.

“It’s certainly not in our mind going into the game on Monday night, the only thing we’re focusing on is building on the win at Warrenpoint.”

Only three points separates the top five in the table ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures, but Kearney insists that it’s important that his troops concentrate on their own affairs.

“The title race is brilliant,” he concluded.

“I said to our boys that there is certain weeks you try and gain on teams, and there are other weeks when you’re trying to hold on with your finger nails.

“I felt today was a day when we had to try and get our three points and stay in the mix.

“There has been a couple of results which have gone against the grain and helped us and it strengthens our hand, but you’re back to the boring thing were if we don’t look after ourselves and pick up three points then it doesn’t matter what the other results are.

“You can only take care of your own business.”

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