Coleraine manager Oran Kearney admits he has an ‘easy task’ of motivating his players as they host FK Haugesund in the second leg of the Europa League.
The Bannsiders know their first adventure into European competition since 2004 will end at the first hurdle after suffering a 7-0 defeat in Norway last Thursday.
“It was a very tough evening against a good side last week,” Kearney said.
“From all my experiences of playing in Europe this happens.
“We knew the gulf coming into the game and we knew if they played to their best it would be a tough ask for us and that’s how it turned out to be.”
Coleraine’s last European tie at The Showgrounds was a famous 2-1 win over Portuguese opponents Uniao Leiria, and boss Kearney hopes the experiences gained this time around will help the young players at the club to develop.
“It will be an easy task for me to motivate the players,” Kearney revealed.
“It’s been a long time since we were last involved in this competition.
“The experiences gained from this will be fantastic for the development of our younger players.
“It will be exactly the same on Thursday night and we hope the preparations will carry us forward into the new season.”
Kearney – who has been in the Coleraine hot seat since 2011 – believes the implementation of summer football would help Irish League clubs compete in Europe.
“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot by not implementing summer football in this league,” the former Linfield midfielder added.
“I’m not saying if we were 20 games into our season that we would have beaten Haugesund, but I think after we went two or three goals behind, we were ran out of legs.
“The key thing we said before the fixture was for the players to enjoy the experience.
“We worked extremely hard from January to get this opportunity and we will learn from it.
“It will also show the players the gulf in class.”