Irish Premiership: Kearney aims to close gap on Reds

Cliftonville defeated Coleraine 1-0 in a league encounter at Solitude in September
Cliftonville defeated Coleraine 1-0 in a league encounter at Solitude in September

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney expects a tough test in Friday night's Showgrounds clash against Cliftonville.

The Reds have won four and drawn one of their last five league games to go third and five points above Coleraine, who lost 1-0 to Carrick on Saturday.

"They are right in the mix and will come down here full of confidence - it should be a great game," said Kearney.

"But we if we want to be near the top end we have to be beating the teams around us."

He added: "It's also important that we dust ourselves down and bounce back from the weekend defeat at Carrick."

Triple bill

The Showgrounds game is one of three Irish Premiership matches on Friday night.

Ards take on Ballinamallard United in Bangor while there's a Mourneview Park encounter between Glenavon and Dungannon Swifts.

"It's a mid-Ulster derby so both teams will be aiming to get the bragging rights from the game," said Swifts boss Rodney McAree.

"All we want to do is close the gap on the teams above us.

"Glenavon are five points ahead of us for we are targeting a win and bringing it down to two."

Danske Bank Premiership - Friday 2 December (19:45 GMT)
ColerainevCliftonville
GlenavonvDungannon Swifts
ArdsvBallinamallard Utd (20:00)