Kearney relishes cup clash

Oran Kearney is looking forward to next month's Irish Cup quarter final. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Oran Kearney is looking forward to next month's Irish Cup quarter final. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

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Oran Kearney says the big motivating factor for his side when they face Ballymena United in the Irish Cup will be getting to the semi final.

The Sky Blues knocked Coleraine out of the League Cup at the semi final stage in December, and they will now stand in their way to progress in the Irish Cup.

They were paired together in the quarter final draw following their last sixteen wins over Tobermore United and H&W Welders on Saturday, and Kearney told Times Sport he is looking forward to it.

“The motivation is to get to the semi final,” said the Bannsiders boss.

“People will say it’s a derby and all the rest, but for me it’s an obstacle to get to a semi final.

“We’re two games away from a final and that’s how I’m looking at it.

“We have to get our performance right on the day to get us into the semi final.

“The margins are small, we all know that.

“We’ve had a good run and a lot of good wins lately, but in that all the games were tight.

“I don’t expect it to be any different in a month’s time.

“The wee things which maybe went against us in the previous games we have to turn them round and make sure they go our way this time,” added Kearney.

Kearney admitted he had a feeling Coleraine would be paired with old foes Ballymena if they got past Tobermore United.

“I hoped we would have enough to get through today, and I just had a feeling that we would be paired with Ballymena in the draw,” said Kearney.

“You just get gut feelings and notions at times and I just felt that is how it would go.

“It’s a month away and we will prepare the right way for it, but it’s one which I’m really looking forward to.

“At this stage of the competition there are no easy games, it’s like a cup final you have to go and win it, the best team on the day goes through, that’s what it boils down to.

Saturday’s win made it seven in a row for Coleraine and Kearney hope that run continues.

“I’d love to be heading into that game in a month’s time with our unbeaten run still intact,” he said.

“We’ve a few games to get sorted out before that, but it’s a great tie to look forward to.”