Captain Stephen O'Donnell wants Coleraine to be ruthless against Cliftonville in Bet McLean League Cup Final

Coleraine defender Stephen O’Donnell believes they need to be ruthless in both boxes if they want see off Cliftonville in Sunday’s Bet McLean League Cup final.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 4:53 pm
Coleraine’s Stephen O’Donnell celebrates scoring this season at Glentoran. Picture by Matt Mackey/INPHO
Coleraine’s Stephen O’Donnell celebrates scoring this season at Glentoran. Picture by Matt Mackey/INPHO

The 29-year-old said the Bannsiders have had chances in most of their games this season but a failure to capitalise on them at times has meant something of a slightly disappointing season thus far.

“From our point of view we haven’t been taking our chances, in fact we haven’t been ruthless enough in both boxes,” insisted the experienced defender.

“Even on Tuesday night at Crusaders, it probably summed our season up in a nutshell.

Sign up to our daily Derry Journal Today newsletter

“We played really well for 89 minutes and made one mistake from a free-kick and Crusaders scored. For the rest of the game we had all the possession, had loads of shots and chances but didn’t put the ball into the back of the net.

“Going into Sunday it will be one of those games where we’ll be working hard to try and make it all come together on the day.”

The ex-Institute centre-back knows it’s going to be tough against Paddy McLaughlin’s in-form side but he believes cup success could reignite their season.

“I think, especially for us in terms of the type of season we have had as it probably has been stop/star, a win on Sunday would be great,” added the skipper.

“There have been spells where it has been really frustrating but the chance to go and win a trophy on Sunday could set us up for a big finish and really flip a switch in terms of parts of the season which have been frustrating to then finishing the season with a trophy.

Cliftonville are the form team in the division. They play really good football and they definitely are a top side, the league table shows that.

“For us, we played them last Friday night and I think we gave them more than enough to get a result but we didn’t for one reason or another. Going into Sunday is about trying to take everything from the few times that we have played them this year and go and try to put in a massive performance which is what we’ll need to if we want to win the trophy.”