INSTITUTE manager Paul Kee admits he’s still taking positives from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with league leaders Ards.
The Waterside men battled back from going a goal behind, but in truth, even at this early stage in the season they probably needed to take all three points if they harbour any hopes of trying to catch Niall Currie’s side.
“If they had have beaten us it was theirs to lose and it still is but we have to take the positives out of the performance,” stated Kee.
“Ards have invested heavily and got the best players but they are paying top dollar. Our boys are working their socks off for nearly nothing so I’d like to see their wage bill compared to ours.
“There are merits in signing good players, we’ve missed out on good players this year, but if we can get the momentum and keep the attitude up and we keep the pressure on, we’re not that far off where we want to be.”
The Drumahoe man was bitterly disappointed that Neil Dougan’s equaliser was allowed to stand, as he felt there was an offside leading up to the goal.
“I’m disappointed because their second goal was offside and that gave them a boost to go on and try and win the game.
“It was a difficult game for the referee. It’s incredible the lack of respect for officials. He had to make a couple of tight decisions, as did the assistants, and when they get that much pressure put on them, there’s room for error and I think that’s what happened, he made a few errors but it’s about learning for them as well.
Kee also hopes his players will like last season have a better second half of the campaign.
“We’ve played everyone now. We’ve played 12 games and there’s 12 games left and we have to go now and get some momentum.
“I’ve told the players, every Saturday, it’s a cup final and we have to win the game,” he concluded.
“Ards are not top of the league by fluke and they did put it up to us. But we stayed with it and we tried to counter them.
“It was all about taking chances and while they may have created more chances it was overall a good spectacle and a good advertisement for the Championship.
“We’ve had a couple of tough games but they have an extra edge. They have good young players and they have plenty of intensity, application and effort and we needed to match that and I thought we did.
“We are still a work in progress. We’re still evolving as a team and a club and we’ve come long way in twelve months. There’s been big improvements and there’s better mentality.”