Coleraine boss Kearney upbeat for Showgrounds derby

Coleraine's Ruairi Harkin challenges Ballymena United striker Gary Thompson
Coleraine's Ruairi Harkin challenges Ballymena United striker Gary Thompson

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney believes his side have the momentum going into Saturday's derby against struggling Ballymena United at Warden Street.

The Bannsiders have won six of their last eight league games to move above United, who last tasted victory in the 2-1 win over Coleraine in September.

"We go there with momentum - it's been the big word for us recently," said Coleraine boss Oran Kearney.

"Yes, it's a derby but more importantly there are three points up for grabs.

He added: "We're looking after the performance and the work - we know when we do that we create chances and have the opportunity to win.

"We'll go there in good spirits but know we have to take care of our side of things to ensure we give ourselves the best possible chance."

Ballymena were level on points with then leaders Portadown when they defeated Coleraine on 20 September.

They have slipped down to eighth and four points behind in-form Coleraine after a winless streak of six matches.

The Sky Blues have conceded eight goals in their last two games, including a 4-0 defeat by Glentoran last weekend and they face Coleraine without suspended pair Tony Kane and Johnny Taylor.

United boss Glenn Ferguson warned his players that another poor performance would not be accepted.

"If my players can't put their heads on the line and be prepared to battle to battle it out in a local derby, they shouldn't be playing football at this level.

"Instead, they should be playing with their mates in a park," he said.

"Oran's done a great job to turn it around at Coleraine, all credit to him and his players, and they are the form team."

Second-placed Crusaders will aim to keep the pressure on pacesetters Cliftonville when they take on Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park.

Glenavon will be without suspended striker Kevin Braniff for the Oval encounter against Glentoran.

Portadown are just three points off the top and the Shamrock Park side host Institute, who are missing the banned Mark Scoltock.

A suspension also keeps Linfield midfielder Seanan Clucas out of the Windsor Park meeting with Dungannon Swifts.

Saturday 8 November - 15:00 GMT

Danske Bank Premiership

Ballinamallard Utd v Crusaders

Ballymena Utd v Coleraine

Glentoran v Glenavon

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Portadown v Institute

Top Stories