Coleraine are building a strong foundation

Oran Kearney receives the Manager of the Month award from NIFWA Chairman Stephen Watson.
Oran Kearney receives the Manager of the Month award from NIFWA Chairman Stephen Watson.

Oran Kearney could have been forgiven for thinking he was the latest victim of the Manager of the Month curse.

After a below par first half on Saturday the Bannsiders found themselves a goal down at half time.

But a second half revival saw the hosts produce the kind of performance which has saw them maintain a 100% record in 2017.

So is this managerial lark easy? Not according to the Bannsiders boss.

“It’s definitely not easy...it’s a far cry from December when we couldn’t buy a win,” he said.

“It has been a great month and we’re happy with how things are going, but the award is for everyone here at the club, because it’s one big massive effort by everyone to get us where we are.

“We always preach performance, performance performance, but the first half today was abject, it was as poor as it has been over the last seven games.

“But the players are only human, it’s not going to be beautiful every week.

“When you get games like that you have to manage it, there was a strong wind in the first half and we tried to get in at half time 0-0.

“The penalty was clumsy more than anything, but beyond that I don’t think they were scoring in the first half.

“It would have been nice to go in at the break 0-0 as it would have made the task of going on and winning the game that bit easier.

“We gave ourselves more of a mountain to climb to climb than we needed.

“The second half was completely different, it was like chalk and cheese, it was more like the performances we have put in over the last month.

“The mentality has been great, but that’s something you grow into as a player.

“There have been many games here in the past when we have started well then conceded a goal and it’s carnage until half time, and then we go on and lose the game maybe two or three.

“Because we have preached it to the players so much we are now managing games so much better.”

There is something building at The Showgrounds and keeping the best young players will prove vital as Kearney agreed.

“There’s no point in building and building only to be dissected straight away, it’s important that we try and keep all aspects of it together,” he said.

“Losing Rodney Brown was hard but it was understandable because the amount of money needed to keep him here.

“All the rest of the lads have come through and were already on professional deals.

“The fact that they are local too gives us a big boost and a better chance of doing that.”