New gaffer can’t wait for tonight’s clash with Celtic
Oran Kearney was meant to be leading Coleraine out at the 2,850 capacity Bangor Fuels Arena for an NIFL clash with Ards.
Instead he will tonight be taking the dugout at a packed St Mirren Park for a game broadcast across the globe against league champions, Celtic.
For the Northern Irishman, it just about sums up a crazy week which has seen his life turned upside down.
“It’s a surreal scenario”, Kearney admitted.
“To be preparing for a game against Celtic, when it should have been Ards on Saturday is crazy.
“At times I am still pinching myself.
“I won’t lie, when the team comes out and the stadium is bouncing, it’ll be a helluva buzz.
“It feels almost poetic that it’s Celtic in the first game.
“Being at home against the league champions is the perfect way to start.
“It’s the game I wanted to start off with. There is so much motivation.
“It’s the Friday night lights live on TV, if players aren’t up for that and ready for it, then I don’t know.
“It’s a great start. As a player and manager, you aspire to reach the top of the game.
“I am really looking forward to it and I am also at the stage where I am dying to get going.
“I have only had a couple of days with the squad but I am ready for the game now.”
Kearney has now just about got his feet under the table having formally taking the reins of the club on Monday.
He admits he has been playing catch up as he looks to get to grips with the squad.
However, he says he is quietly confident of a positive performance from his side having refuted suggestions that they have nothing to lose from the match with Brendan Rodgers’ men.
He said: “We have done a huge amount of work in the last few days to get prepared for the game.
“The guys behind the scenes at the club have been great for me.
“We have only had a few days to implement our ideas but it’s important that we are organised and put on a good show.
“Celtic are a dangerous side. We are well aware of what they can do.
“But it’s important that we are organised. We can look at Celtic, but we also have to concern ourselves about what we can do.
“We have to look at how we can hurt them.”