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The hunt is on – Kearney

ORAN Kearney has challenged his Coleraine players to achieve finishing as high in the league table as possible…

The Bannsiders lost for a third time in four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures as two goals in the last 30 minutes saw them crumbling to a 2-1 defeat away at Glenavon.

That loss was further compounded with the fact that teams just above the Stripes in the Premiership standings also dropped points as the battle for European places continues.

Kearney was quick to point out that this season is ‘totally different’ to last year when his side lost the BetMcLean Cup final and then struggled to find any form in the post-split fixtures.

“That happened last year and I wouldn’t say it was uncontrollable, but when you were stranded in sixth no matter what you do it’s hard to enter the psyche of players to make them understand how important the last five games are,” he said.

“This year is totally different and when you look at the results last weekend, you don’t know how teams will come out on the back of recent results that all clubs have had and where they stand at this moment in time.

“When you look at those results, we could have gained and moved nearer the teams above us.

“The hunt for third or even second is still very achievable but when you defend how we did in the last 20 minutes against Glenavon, then those other results doesn’t matter.”

With a possible 18 points remaining between now and the end of the campaign, Kearney has his eyes set on obtaining double figures.

“We need to go into the split in a positive manner,” he continued.

“You just don’t know what will happen in those next six games.

“There are greater gains to be made by all teams playing each other.

“We have got to hit double figures out of those 18 points available to ensure we are in a favourable position.”