Coleraine manager Oran Kearney.
COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney has thanked those supporters who made the long trip to Warrenpoint Town on Tuesday night, saying the 5-2 win was for them.
The north coast club made their longest trip of the season in midweek for a game rearranged from earlier in the season.
And despite being shorn of a few regulars because of injury, a new-look Bannsiders produced a thoroughly professional performance to secure a top six finish in the league.
“I’d like to thank everyone who attended tonight, it was an amazing crowd for a Tuesday night and it shows you the commitment of the supporters," Oran said after the game.
“I think it was very important from our point of view, and I mentioned it pre-game, that when people travel that distance it’s important that we give them something to go home with.
“We are obviously pleased to get back to winning ways as we’ve gone a few games without a victory.
“It’s been a tough few weeks in relation to the Cup final defeat and we have been missing a few players through injury and suspension.
“However, with that, brings opportunity and it’s rare probably at this level to give an opportunity of putting players into that pressure scenario and see what they can do.
“I was delighted for Kirk and Lewis who came in, they deserved their chance as they’ve done really well with the U20’s, and whilst we know the step up is high, it’s important to try and give them that chance," he added.
Victory and a top six finish secured, attention now turns to the end of season play-offs and possible European qualification.
“I think we knew coming into it we were pretty much done from that point of view," continued Oran.
“The key thing as we’ve already said is about those play-offs at the end of the year.
“We’ve a lot of guys who’ve played a lot of football this year and need a short break, whilst there are some guys who need some football as well.
“We’ve got to use these next few weeks wisely to try and look after everybody so we are going into those games as fresh as possible."
The night was also memorable for the appearance in the first team of promising youngsters Lewis Tosh and Kirk McLaughlin, with both acquitting themselves well in a tricky game.
“It’s not an easy place to come to on a Tuesday night as Warrenpoint are fighting for their lives, but I thought how the two of them got about their business was really good," said their manager.
“Lewis had a brilliant assist for Curtis’ goal and Kirk shows real maturity in his top class finish.
“I’m delighted for the two of them, it’s a start, they’ll be the first to tell you there’s a long way to go but it’s great for them to get out there and show what they can do."