Causeway Chronicle

Fans can cheer Coleraine to Cup success

Friday is arguably the biggest game of the season for Coleraine.

The Bannsiders host Cliftonville tomorrow in the live Irish Cup fifth round clash (kick off 7.45pm).

Victory will hopefully provide a springboard to kick on in 2024.

Defeat and the rest of the campaign will be spent battling to claim a top six spot.

The club will be hoping their New Year’s Eve statement backing manager Oran Kearney, plus their transfer window recruitment – unites the Showgrounds support.

One win in nine games has had a section of the support calling for change.

But Oran also has plenty of backers – most importantly the Board – who point to his record.

In his last seven seasons, there has been seven top six finishes, four of those top three.

There’s also been three BetMcLean Cup final appearances and back-to-back Irish Cup finals.

The Coleraine boss will be hoping his new January signings – Jack Scott and Jamie McGonigle have signed with more to follow – and getting key players fit again will help revive fortunes.

And the fans will have a huge role to play against the Reds.

It’s vital that supporters turn out in force and full voice and hopefully cheer Coleraine on to victory and the start of another memorable cup journey.

An Irish Cup run will certainly be welcome but challenges don’t come much tougher than Cliftonville.

“Yes it will be a big test,” admitted Oran.

“We just seem to draw each other in the cups but it’s a new year and a new start.

“It’s a cup competition and an opportunity of going and doing something in the cup.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go on Friday night.”

McCrudden leaves Showgrounds

Meanwhile, Michael McCrudden has followed in the footsteps of Andy Mitchell in leaving the Showgrounds.

It is believed further exits are imminent.

Mitchell last night signed for Dungannon Swifts whilst fellow striker McCrudden has left the club by mutual consent.

McCrudden scored seven times in 45 games but has found game time limited.

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson