INSTITUTE midfielder Aaron Walsh is warning his team-mates to make sure they are ready for junior side Rathfriland Rangers, in this Saturday’s Irish Cup fifth round clash.
The midfielder, who scored the Waterside men’s winner in last weekend’s Intermediate Cup tie against Knockbreda, knows some of the Rathfriland players well and is expecting a tough encounter.
“They won’t be easy, because I know a couple of their players and we need to make sure that we are switched on right from the start, because we need to be in the draw for the sixth round,” stated Walsh.
“The leagues our main priority, especially for the players, because we feel we need to be up in the Premiership as the facilitates at ’Stute are first class, but an Irish Cup run would be nice.
“We are second in the league, with a lot of teams to play again, have an Irish Cup tie this Saturday, which won’t be easy and have reached the next round of the Intermediate Cup, so everything is looking well at the minute.”
The former Dergview man feels the Drumahoe club have enough quality players in the squad, so much so that boss Paul Kee isn’t looking to add more players to the squad during this month’s transfer window.
“There is enough quality in our dressing room to gain promotion this season,” he added.
“We had big Parkie (Stephen Parkhouse) who was missing on Saturday and then we had boys like Decky McKeever who is coming back from injury, so everything is looking well.
“Keeso really isn’t looking to sign anyone apart from Warner (Mullan), so that goes to show you the size of the squad we have.
“Keeso wants to win every game, that is the kind of man he is and that is right to think like that.
“Last year they had a good run in the Intermediate Cup and got to the semi-final and because of that we don’t fear anyone in the Intermediate Cup.
Walsh conceded that a few stern words from the Institute boss at half-time of Saturday’s victory over Knockbreda was exactly what was needed and he was thrilled to have netted the winner late-on.
“We got a good talking to at half-time and then Darren McCauley got us off to a great start in the second half and then wee Mickey (McCrudden) again popped up with another big goal for us.
“Knockbreda had nothing to lose, while we had everything to lose.
“To be honest we couldn’t get to the half-time whistle quick enough, then once we got to there everybody knew that they had to step things up and that is what happened in the second half.
“We can’t continue to give teams 2-0 starts, we have been doing that from the start of the season, but to be honest you would rather come back and win games than get punished.
“I saw their keeper move to his right and I knew that all I had to do was to get it on target and as close to the left hand post as possible and I was lucky enough that the ball went into the back of the net.”