New gaffer can’t wait for tonight’s clash with Celtic

Paisley Daily Express - - Theti Cket - Craig Ritchie

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.”

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