'Break came at a good time for us' - Coleraine manager Kearney

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Linfield manager David Healy

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney says his side will benefit from a two-week break as they prepare for Saturday's top-of-the-table encounter against Linfield.

Coleraine have a four-point lead over the champions but have not played since beating Ballymena 2-0 on 30 September.

"The break probably came at a good time for us, to freshen a few people up, to freshen up the mind too," said Kearney.

"The same panel of players has carried us through Europe, pre-season and the first quarter of the domestic season."

"It's been well documented that we have had a few injuries at the club, several of them long-term," added the Bannsiders boss.

"We trained hard last Tuesday and Thursday and I purposely gave the players Saturday off. Hopefully there will be a real freshness and a real buzz about us now and everyone will feel the same way I do about Saturday."

Coleraine's Eoin Bradley in action against Niall Quinn and Josh Robinson of Linfield
Coleraine's Eoin Bradley in action against Niall Quinn and Josh Robinson of Linfield

Coleraine are the only unbeaten team in the Premiership, having won eight and drawn one of their nine matches to date.

'Full house and an electric atmosphere'

"Saturday's game will be a full house and it will be an electric atmosphere - it'll be two good teams going at it and will be everything that's good about Irish League football.

"Those are the days you work for and those are the days you get excited about and I can't wait until it arrives.

"There are lots of good teams in the league and Linfield are up there with the best. When Linfield come to town you know what they bring in terms of a level of quality and consistency.

"You need to be on your game from one to 11 to get something so we need to make sure we hit the heights we have in recent weeks in terms of performance.

"We know if we do that it gives us a chance of getting something from the game."

The Coleraine boss has been named Northern Ireland Football Writers' Manager of the Month for both August and September, while winger Darren McCauley was selected as September's Player of the Month following his three double-goal salvos against Glenavon, Ards and Carrick Rangers.

"The key thing is to keep your defence as tight as possible and score as many goals as possible, and it's important that the goals are shared around a bit.

"We have great goals coming from all over the park but it's important that we sustain that for the whole season.

"Stephen O'Donnell has weighed in with a few goals already and Darren has been prolific from midfield."

Danske Bank Irish Premiership - Friday 13 October - 19:45 BST
Warrenpoint TownvBallinamallard Utd
Saturday 14 October - 15:00 BST kick-offs
Game on: Preview of the Irish Premiership
Ballymena UtdvArds
Carrick RangersvDungannon S
ColerainevLinfield
CrusadersvGlenavon
GlentoranvCliftonville