Rodney McAree: Coleraine can be 'smiles' better

Rodney McAree believes his Coleraine side need to get back to playing football with a smile on their faces again.

Since beating Crusaders 3-0 at the start of September the Bannsiders have gone to draw their next four league games.

Aaron Burns levelled things up for Coelraine against Newry City.

Aaron Burns levelled things up for Coelraine against Newry City.

Remarkably that makes it six draws already for the season for Coleraine after they finished all-square with Newry City in Saturday’s encounter.

Speaking after the game McAree said he felt his players were feeling frustrated out on the pitch when things haven’t been going their way.

But the former Dungannon boss says they just need to relax and get back to enjoying their football again.

“There seems to be a massive level of frustration in the dressing room and that maybe comes from people putting themselves under too much pressure,” he said.

“Coleraine was very unlucky last season not to win the league, but I think in this moment in time we need to concentrate on playing a game of football.

“We need to be more patient, relaxed, and focused on enjoying our football.

“At the minute I feel we are putting ourselves under too much pressure worrying about expectations.

“We need to focus on our job and what we’re trying to achieve. Of course we’re focused on winning matches, but we want to win it and enjoy it too.

“People get frustrated when you miss chances, they get frustrated when you concede a goal like we did today.

“Some times you just need a bit of the rub of the green.

“In the last four games if we had had a bit more luck we would have picked up some wins instead of draws.

“I think we need to buy in to not being too far away rather than being down on drawing games of football.”

While Coleraine may have been frustrated the hosts were delighted with their own performance, although boss Darren Mullen said there was slight disappointment at not picking up all three points.

“I think everyone expected this to be Rodney’s first win, we were just to turn up if you like,” he said.

“But we knew we had really good home form, and we wanted to get some sort of result.

“We are disappointed not to get the win after going 1-0 up, but it’s probably a fair result overall. I don’t think anyone could deny we were worth at least a point today.

“I thought we were terrific in terms of the game plan and how the lads applied themselves.

“We were a bit deflated because of how last week’s game finished, but we needed to pick ourselves up pretty quick.

“We were really looking forward to this game. The Irish Cup holders coming to Newry is great.

“This is where we want to be, playing in these types of games. We knew it was going to be difficult, especially after half time, we knew they were going to come at us.

“I’m disappointed with the manner of the goal we conceded. I thought it could have been cut out a bit earlier.

“But our reaction to that was super and we could have picked them off at the end.

“We threw Conal on to give us a bit of pace to hit them on the break. We knew they would be trying to push us back so there would be gaps in behind them.

“We had two or three really good chances towards the end when we could have hit them and should have done better with.”