Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley has admitted that ‘it’s not looking good’ for his side’s title ambitions after two midweek draws against fellow hopefuls Glentoran.
he Bannsiders came from behind both at the Oval on Tuesday night and the Showgrounds on Friday, Matthew Shevlin scoring all three of Coleraine’s goals across the two matches, as Bradley conceded after confusion over last night’s strike.
The results leave Linfield sitting pretty, eight points clear of Coleraine with a game in hand and 10 ahead of Glentoran with only seven games left to play.
It means another four victories will be enough to see the Blues crowned champions for a world-record equalling 55th time, keeping pace with Glasgow Rangers.
“Linfield are now eight points clear with a game in hand, it’s not looking good for first place,” Bradley conceded, speaking to Coleraine FC media.
“There’s still plenty to play for with second place, Europe and that.”
Only the top two in the table will be guaranteed European places for next season, with the Irish League’s third place going to the Irish Cup winners and fourth to the play-off victors. Should either of the league’s top two win the Irish Cup, then third in the Premiership would be enough to rubber-stamp a spot without having to go through the play-off lottery.
In more immediate concerns, Bradley was happy to award last night’s equaliser, which cancelled out Robbie McDaid’s opener in a 1-1 draw, to strike partner Shevlin despite early reports opting for the former Glenavon striker after both players had gone for an inviting Ben Doherty cross.
“I’m going to claim an assist, I think it maybe skimmed me,” Bradley laughed. “It was a great ball in by Ben and it’s definitely Shevvy’s goal.
“I thought we were very good in the second half. We just didn’t really create that opening but against a team like that, over the two games, the draws were fair results.
“They’re a full-time team, we knew it wouldn’t be easy but the character we showed was very good.”
Next up for the Bannsiders is a derby trip to Ballymena United next Saturday after a rare but welcome eight-day rest.
“Three points are a must,” said Bradley. “Ballymena are on a good wee run but if you can’t get up for a derby, there’s something wrong with you.”