McCafferty hails the quality of the squad

Neil McCafferty has hailed the quality in the Coleraine squad.   Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty /
Neil McCafferty has hailed the quality in the Coleraine squad. Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty /

Coleraine will be without four key players for this Saturday’s trip to Ballinamallard United, but Neil McCafferty believes there is enough quality in the sqaud to cope with it.

The midfielder, who is one of the players to miss out along with Steven Douglas, Jordan Allan and Eoin Bradley, told Times Sport the players coming in will step up to the mark.

“It’s a massive game for us now going to Ballinamallard,” he said.

“We have several players missing through suspension, but the young lads have been brilliant.

“Ciaron Harkin came in for his first start today since joining from Institute and was brilliant.

“That’s the first time I have saw him play and I thought he was excellent.

“We have a small squad but we have 18 or 19 good players who all can play.

“People will step up again I’m sure and we’ll go again.”

After a tricky run up until Christmas the Bannsiders now seem to be back in form again with four games on the bounce.

“Things have been building here for the last two or three seasons,” said McCafferty.

“Since I’ve been here we have finished eighth, then fifth and I think we should finish in the top six easily this season.

“We went 11 games unbeaten then lost a few in a row and people were getting carried away, but that’s four wins in a row now and we are determined to keep going.”

The midfielder scored a fantastic free kick to edge in front of Portadown on Saturday in difficult circumstances following the injury to Eoin Bradley.

It was reminiscent of the stunning free kicks he scored in his first season with the club, and he was delighted to see it fly in.

“I had an unbelievable first season here scoring about seven or eight free kicks like that, but I couldn’t hit a barn door last year,” he joked.

“But you just have to keep going and believing in yourself, as soon as I hit it I knew it was in.

“It was a big goal as it was 2-2 at that stage and really the game could have went either way at that stage.

“It was a very difficult game given the weather and the pitch, and then we concede after 30 seconds and then we lose Eoin to a bad injury like that.

“So mentally it was very tough for the whole team and the management to come through all that.

“But to pull through in the way that we did and to get three points was massive for us.”

Coleraine will welcome back James McLaughlin and Jamie McGonigle to the squad for the trip to Ferney Park.

Gareth McConaghie and David Kee are also likely to be recalled.

“We had no Jamie McGonigle today, and James McLaughlin is back in full training now,” said Oran Kearney.

“So there is opportunities now for people to step up on Saturday at Ballinamallard.

“We have enough depth in the squad to cope with it.”