St Mirren: Oran Kearney 'wants to win Premiership' with Paisley club

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Kearney celebrates winning Irish Cup
The Irish League Show
Available on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport NI website from 20:30 BST on Sunday, 26 August

New St Mirren manager Oran Kearney says he wants to win the Scottish Premiership with the Paisley club.

Kearney, 40, has replaced Alan Stubbs at a side 11th in the division, but is hoping to repeat the success he enjoyed at Irish League side Coleraine.

Kearney helped the Bannsiders to their first silverware in 15 years when they won the Irish Cup last season.

"I want to win the league because the day I started [at Coleraine] I wanted titles and trophies," said Kearney.

"St Mirren, having just been promoted, obviously are not in that position at the minute. But Coleraine a few years ago weren't in that position either, so with a bit of hard work, a huge amount can be done."

It has been a rollercoaster week for the Ballycastle PE teacher, who helped Coleraine to a 3-0 win over reigning champions Crusaders on Monday before signing a three-year deal with St Mirren on Friday.

He watched St Mirren's colt side play in the Challenge Cup on Saturday before returning to Northern Ireland to say his goodbyes before turning his focus towards the visit of Celtic.

"It's going to be tough. It hasn't been the best start to the season and there's a lot of work to do," Kearney told BBC Sport NI's Irish League Show.

"We're stepping away from something that is so constant and where everybody knows their jobs inside out so there's going to be a big change and a period of transition."

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I want the club to win the league - Oran Kearney

'I got a lovely message from Brendan'

After transforming the fortunes of Coleraine during his seven-and-a-half years in charge, Kearney has admitted that it was not a straightforward decision to make the move into full-time management.

He was interviewed for the St Mirren job earlier in the summer before the club opted to appoint Stubbs but now becomes the fifth Northern Irish manager in the Scottish top-flight.

Kearney has already received a message of congratulations from compatriot Brendan Rodgers, whose Celtic side visit Paisley on Friday, welcoming him to Scottish football.

"I spoke to Brendan at great length in May before I did the first interview and he was a great help then," he said.

"Facing Celtic first up is just brilliant and I suppose if there's any justification needed about why you wanted to make the move, I think that's the game and that's the moment.

"So it to be my debut is surreal and I must say I'm really looking forward to it."

Jimmy Nicholl
Northern Ireland assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl has offered advice to Kearney about managing in Scotland

Kearney, who is the son-in-law of former Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels, has yet to make any decisions on his staff at St Mirren.

However, he says has "touched base" with Shiels' former assistant, Jimmy Nicholl, who is currently the Northern Ireland number two.

"I've had a lot of good chats with Jimmy and it's something that could be possibly on the radar," Kearney said.

"But it's more important to go in there and get a feel for the place first and see what's needed rather than jump to things too early."

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