Kearney urges his players to bounce back

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th December 2016

Danske Bank Premiership - Coleraine Vs Ards.  Coleraine's Darren McCauley with Ards' David McCullough
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye.
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th December 2016 Danske Bank Premiership - Coleraine Vs Ards. Coleraine's Darren McCauley with Ards' David McCullough Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye.

Oran Kearney admitted he understandably had to lift his players following the League Cup disappointment last week.

The Bannsiders went down 3-0 after extra time in the semi final clash at Warden Street.

A contentious penalty decision coupled with the visitors being refused a spot kick of their own led to Kearney being dismissed from the dugout for the first time in his career.

Tensions were running high as the Bannsiders exited the competition at the same stage for the second year in a row.

But Kearney is hoping his side don’t suffer a cup hangover like they did last season.

“The Ards result last year had a real impact on the next two months,” he told Times Sport.

“This one for me is slightly different, it was more the manner of what happened on Tuesday night.

“If they totally outplayed us and scored wonder goals then you can accept that.

“But that two or three minute spell when they got a penalty, which shoudln’t have been, we were denied a penalty, it took it out of our hands.

“Goals change games and that’s what happened last week, it changed things tactically, energy levels increased in their side.

“If they same thing had happened at the other end of the pitch we would have won the game 3-0.”

The good thing about football is there is usually always a nother game to play pretty soon after a big disappointment.

Coleraine entertained Ards on Saturday knowing that they had to stop the slide of four consecutive defeats even though they were still hurting from Tuesday.

“That’s football and you should have to lift people because they should be disappointed not to get into a final,” said Kearney.

“But you have to get up and get on with things again, there’s always another game around the corner.

“After a disappointment like that the next training session or game is always going to be tough, but we came out really well today and took the game to Ards.

“We dominated big spells of that opening half hour, created a number of chances, but unfortunately we didn’t take them.”

Not only did they put an end to their losing streak they also managed to end their scoring drought.

They had gone four games without scoring too, but Kearney said he tried to keep the pressure off his players.

“I told the boys not to pay too much attention to statistics or whatever else as I take all the heat for it,” he said.

“We did things a bit differently to other teams. We tried to be as smart as we could and cover every eventuality.

“We wanted to make sure we were as strong as we possibly could be and we protected the players.

“We wanted to say we gave it our utmost and do everything we could to make it to the final.