Match Preview

Sell-out crowd can lift us

CONOR McDermott insists he is looking forward to his first Boxing Day derby as a Coleraine player this afternoon…

The Bannsiders return to action for the first time since December 9 as David Jeffrey’s side make the trip to The Showgrounds.

McDermott acknowledged that the recent break from games was nice but it will count for nothing if they don’t pick up all three points on the Ballycastle Road.

“It will be a massive game,” he said.

“Boxing Day games are derbies, therefore, they are full of excitement and full of passion.

“It will be a tough game; we’ve played twice already this season and they’ve won one and we’ve won one.

“They’ve picked up some notable results on the road so they will come here all guns blazing.

“There’s obviously a lot of rivalry there, it makes for a great game but we have to keep our head down and do our thing.

“We had a tough few weeks with a lot of games and then we had three fixtures in six days.

“In one way it was nice to get a break but at the same time you like to keep the rhythm going but we’ve been training hard.

“Hopefully we can put on a good performance on Boxing Day.”

McDermott hopes that a sell-out crowd can help the Stripes over the line and revealed that he is probably playing the best football of his career after his summer switch from Cliftonville.

“From speaking to a few people around the club, they don’t like Ballymena too much but that’s part and parcel of football,” he continued.

“I’m sure it’ll be a sell-out and that gives us a lift as you know the fans are coming out to support you like they do every week.

“I would say I’m probably playing the best football of my career.

“I’ve got myself into a really good place and the club have been massive in getting me that help and support I needed.

“They’ve really put their arm around me and given me that confidence to go and do my thing which is great.

“It’s the best I’ve played in a long time and hopefully that continues.”