Captain Beverland calls for professional performance

Coleraine captain Howard Neverland send off by match referee Raymond Crangle.
Coleraine captain Howard Neverland send off by match referee Raymond Crangle.

Howard Beverland knows how important it will be for Coleraine to put in a professional performance in the League Cup semi final tonight (Tuesday).

The Bannsiders travel to Bangor to take on Championship One leaders Ards and Beverland knows they can’t afford to take anything for granted with the prize of a final at stake.

Unfortunately the Coleraine skipper will miss the game following his dismissal against Glenavon on Saturday, but he is confident his team-mates will do the job.

“It’s all about being professional and we pride ourselves on that,” he told Times Sport.

“You have to show the opposition the respect they deserve no matter what stage of the competition it is.

“But we have to be confident in our play too as we know if we play to the best of our ability then there’s no reason why we can’t win any game.

“I’m sure Ards will be confident though too. They have been scoring goals and winning games and will think to themselves they are only 90 minutes away from a final.

“It’s all about doing a job though. Every player has to make sure they do their job on the night and help us win the game.”

With the opportunity of reaching their first final since 2012 Beverland knows anticipation is building among the fans.

He said the players are aware of the expectation levels, but they have been focusing on the job in hand in recent weeks.

“Excitement has been building for the game but there hasn’t been a lot of talk about it amongst the players and staff because we have had some big league games to concentrate on,” he said.

“All season long we’ve had the mentality of one game at a time.

“But I know the coaching staff have been doing their homework on Ards and they will be aware of their strengths that’s for sure.”

The game will be played at the home of Bangor, where Ards are based, and Beverland feels the 3g surface there will suit the Bannsiders.

“Obviously the match is being played on a 3g surface, but we train on one twice a week, and I think it’s a surface which brings the best out in us,” he said.

“I think the football we play, the style of it, it will suit us.”

Boss Oran Kearney is well aware of the buzz around The Showgrounds at present and is hoping his side can produce another big performance this season.

“Tuesday night is a great opportunity for us and one we’re deserving of,” he said.

“It would be massive for the club and the town to get to the final.

“The last time we got there was against Crusaders in Ballymena and we took over 3,000 fans there and hopefully they would come out and get behind us again if we make it through.

“But we have to take care of Tuesday night first and make sure we produce a big performance.

“Ards aren’t sitting joint top of the Championship though for no reason.

“They will have an eye on the final also. And being away from home makes it tougher also.

“It’s going to be a tough game, and we will have to be at our best to get through.”

Kick-off is 7.45 pm.