Irish Premiership: Feeney bullish for Bannsiders clash

Linfield midfielder Stephen Lowry beats Coleraine's Neil McCafferty to the high ball
Linfield midfielder Stephen Lowry beats Coleraine's Neil McCafferty to the high ball

Linfield manager Warren Feeney is confident that the league leaders can bounce back from losing to Crusaders by beating Coleraine at home on Saturday.

The Crues closed the gap at the top to one point with a 2-1 victory over the Blues at Seaview on New Year's Day.

"I told the lads after the Crues game to get their heads up - we are still top of the league and where we want to be," said Feeney.

"I'm expecting a big result and big game for us against Coleraine."

"I'm confident for every game that we will win and for good and great teams it is about how you bounce back.

"We're still confident although I'm sure Coleraine have similar expectations for the match."

The Bannsiders could give a debut to winger Matthew Snoddy, who has joined Oran Kearney's side on loan from Crusaders until the end of the season.

The Crues will aim to keep up the pressure on the Windsor Park side when they take on Ballinamallard United at Seaview.

Cliftonville have slipped to fourth place after picking up just one point from their last three matches.

The champions go into their visit to Dungannon Swifts six points off the pace.

Warrenpoint may lie bottom of the table but they are a team in form with a run of five games unbeaten.

A 2-0 win over Ballymena United on Thursday leaves them just a point adrift of Institute and Dungannon as they prepare to host a Glentoran side which has won four of their last five matches.

"It's massive for us - we want to extend our run and put three points on the board," said Warrenpoint boss Barry Gray.

"Hopefully we can produce a similar performance against the Glens than we did against Ballymena.

"We are still bottom and there is still a massive job to do. We need to get above a couple of sides but if we maintain our run we can do that."

Ballymena entertain Glenavon with Sky Blues manager Glenn Ferguson seeking a big improvement from the the display at Milltown.

"Glenavon are a better team than Warrenpoint, they have players who can really hurt you," he said.

"If we play like we did against Warrenpoint it could be a lot more than 2-0 - I've told the players to have a good think about their game."

Danske Bank Premiership

Saturday 3 January - 15:00 GMT kick-off

Ballymena Utd v Glenavon

Crusaders v Ballinamallard Utd

Dungannon Swifts v Cliftonville

Linfield v Coleraine

Warrenpoint Town v Glentoran