Irish Premiership: Coleraine will keep up chase - Kearney

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney says his side must starting picking up wins if they are to keep up their pursuit of Irish Premiership leaders Crusaders.

The Bannsiders led the league by eight points at the start of November but trail the Crues by five as they prepare to play bottom club Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park on Friday night.

“We want to try and push Crusaders as far as possible,” said Kearney.

“We’ve always said they’re the team to catch – the benchmark for this season.”

A run of five draws from their last seven league outings has dented Coleraine’s title ambitions but Kearney believes his team can keep up their chase of the Premiership pacesetters.

“There is still a lot of football to be played and the key thing for us is to pick up as many points as we can,” added the Coleraine boss.

Haveron will ‘make changes’ for Ards

Glentoran moved into sixth place in the table with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Carrick Rangers on Tuesday night but manager Gary Haveron was not satisfied with his side’s display and hopes for better against Ards at the Oval.

“We set ourselves a target of six points from our two games this week so the result at Carrick means we are on course to achieve that but we need to perform better,” said Haveron.

“We made changes for Tuesday and we’ll make changes again for Friday.

“We have to pick and choose what matches some players play, taking into account the ground, the conditions and the opposition, which may suit some players better than others.”

Ards have conceded 10 goals in their last two top-flight encounters, a 4-0 home defeat by Carrick being followed by a 6-1 reverse at the hands of Glenavon at the Bangor Fuels Arena on Tuesday.

“We have been defending very poorly. Our defence had been our strength and helped us move up the league but it is something we now have to address very quickly,” said Ards boss Colin Nixon.

Danske Bank Premiership – Friday 16 February – 19:45 GMT kick-offs
Coverage on BBC Sport website
Ballinamallard Utd v Coleraine
Glentoran v Ards