Defensive strength pleases Coleraine skipper Stephen O’Donnell

Stephen O’Donnell is hoping Coleraine’s defence can continue to show a mean streak.

The Bannsiders’ captain has been at the heart of a rearguard which has only conceded one goal in their last seven games.

It has helped them climb towards the League summit and O’Donnell is hoping it will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season, starting with tonight’s BetMcLean League Cup tie at Carrick Rangers.

“It has been good and Rodney (Brown) is easy to play with as he’s big, he’s strong, wins his headers and is there to cover,” said the skipper.

Coleraine take on Carrick Rangers in the BetMcLean League Cup tonight

“He’s done well since he’s come in but I think in terms of the clean sheets, it’s the full back four and ‘Deansy’, but the boys in front have been excellent as well.

“When the boys up top are on the money and it sticks up there, it makes our job easier and we have done well recently keeping the ball out of our net.

“Hopefully we can just kick on now in the next few games.”

The Bannsiders might have picked up another clean sheet in Friday night’s draw at home to Glenavon, but it was tinged with frustration. O’Donnell was pleased Coleraine upped their efforts after a below par first half, but he was disappointed they couldn’t find a winner on the night.

“I think the first-half wasn’t good enough from us,” he said. “Oran made that clear at half-time, we changed a few things and I thought we were really good after the break.

“On a different day, we would have probably would have scored two or three goals, but with the penalty and the other missed chances, it was one of those days where the ball wouldn’t go in for us.

“In a nutshell, first-half performance not good enough, the second-half performance right on the money.

“If we were leaving here not creating any chances, been a bit stale and not playing well then we would be really disappointed, but I think the fact we were able to create that many chances and get Conor McKendry into good positions is a positive.”

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