INSTITUTE manager Paul Kee is expecting his players to be switched on right from the start of Saturday’s Irish Cup fifth round clash with Rathfriland Rangers (KO 3pm).
The Drumahoe out-fit are unbeaten in their last four games and Kee would love that run to continue but he knows the Banbridge men have nothing to lose and will be looking to cause a cup shock.
“The team’s gathering a bit of momentum, the form’s good and we’re now starting to show excellent character as well which is a credit to the players,” stated the ’Stute gaffer.
“We upped the ante against Knockbreda and they couldn’t stay with it and with the greatest respect I don’t think Rathfriland would be as good as Knockbreda, but we still have to apply ourselves, because the Irish Cup is a major competition.
“We have to guard against complacency, we can’t be disrespectful we have to respect Rathfriland and we have to get the win because it’s important and because we want to win every game.”
Kee also feels the dressing room is on a high at the minute and he knows the only way to keep that feel good factor is by continuing to win games and he was also pleased that once again his side had three different goalscorers in Saturday’s victory - Darren McCauley, Michael McCrudden and Aaron Walsh.
“Beating Knockbreda was good for the teams dynamics and team spirit,” he added.
“We have averaged two goals a game, which isn’t a bad return and we have got goals all over the team.
“Ards in fairness have two or three players in double figures already, now we don’t have anyone in double figures, but we are still up their in the goalscoring stakes.
“We have ability to score goals throughout the team, we aren’t depending on just one guy, because if we were and he got injured then we would struggle, but I think now with Warren (Mullan), McCrudden, Parkie (Stephen Parkhouse), Darren McFadden, Darren McCauley and Aaron Walsh I think there’s goals in our team.
“I was pleased that Walshie scored because it’s good to have him back. He’s very central to our build up play in what we try to do. He’s a key player.”
This weekend Kee has a selection headache with striking duo Darren McFadden and Stephen Parkhouse back from suspension, while Corey Wilson is expected to start in goals in place of Marty Gallagher.
“I thought we had a strong bench against Knockbreda, with the likes of Decky McKeever and Joe Gray on our bench, so it’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks, but that’s a nice problem to have.
“In fairness what I had to do pre-Christmas I was getting people moping about because they weren’t playing, so that is why I had to let some players go and good luck to them and I hope they do well at their respective clubs, but we have to service these players now and I think we have a healthy squad have competition in each position and we have young players like Jack Higgins coming through as well, so it’s looking quite good in fairness.
“We had an arrangement that Marty would play against Knockbreda and Corey (Wilson) will play this Saturday, the two of them are important to us.”