Match Preview

“We have to be ready” – OK

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney is expecting a “tough game” as he takes his side to Carrick Rangers tomorrow afternoon…

The Bannsiders make the trip to the Loughview Leisure Arena for a second time this campaign after a 4-2 success back in August.

The Amber Army have already beaten Linfield and Crusaders at home this term, and as such, Kearney knows his side will have to bring their A game for the contest.

“It will be another tough game and we’ve already been down there this season,” he said.

“That was a real ding-dong and they’ve had some cracking results since then both home and away.

“We know how tough it’s going to be, they’ll be fired up for it and it’s important we’re ready for that.

“The two recent defeats hurt and the good response from that is to bounce back with two wins since then.

“We want to keep that rolling, it’s a busy schedule and we want to make sure we’re as fresh as possible.”

Coleraine come into the contest after two successive wins – including Tuesday night’s quarter-final success against Dungannon Swifts in the BetMcLean Cup.

Kearney was pleased with the manner of the victory and was delighted to see the return of Michael McCrudden to action.

“We kicked on from where we left off on Saturday and that was the whole plan,” he continued.

“The only frustration we had was that we couldn’t make it 3-0 and really put it to bed but when it’s 2-0 you always have that ‘what if’ in the back of your head.

“Michael has shown quality in abundance and he had a bit of an injury heading into the Ballymena game but we’ve had to take our time with him.

“We want to ease him back into gently and that’s why he only played 60 minutes.

“We are happy offensively with that we’ve got as we’ve got the firepower to win games but we defend from the front and that’s what you want by limiting other teams with very little chances.

“We wanted to be in the semi-final as I want another go at it.

“It was another clean sheet and three good goals.”