IRISH LEAGUE: Victory secures second spot for Institute

Institute centre-back Darryl McDermott returns from suspension.
Institute centre-back Darryl McDermott returns from suspension.

Institute manager Kevin Deery wants his players picking up three points at the PSNI this Saturday (KO 3pm) - and in doing so securing second spot in the Championship.

Currently sitting in second spot, 12 goals better off than Ballyclare Comrades - who they meet in the final game of the season in a few weeks’ time - a win this weekend would wrap up their league campaign nicely.

“We have two games remaining and a win secures second place,” he stated.

“After Warrenpoint won the league a few weeks ago, that is what we went out to do and that’s what we’ll try to do this week.

“It’s just a great feeling because it gets us where we want to be. We’re in the driving seat now. I think it’s the first time we went second and it’s a vital time of the season.

“We want to cement second because the team who finishes second plays at home in the second leg. That’s something we want and we’ll fight PSNI for that this weekend.

“Our downfall is that we have lost to the league champions four times out of seven defeats.”

Deery believes last season’s play-off heartache will provide invaluable experience for his players, as they look to regain their place back in the Premiership.

Victory this weekend also means they will have home advantage in the second leg Championship playoff clash against Comrades, before then facing Carrick Rangers in the promotion play-off.

“We need to win this weekend to keep that momentum going to give ourselves a chance of going up again.

“Last year’s experience will stand to those players. I think you can see the determination there so we are looking forward to the run in.”

Defender Darryl McDermott is back from suspension and striker Sammy Morrow may return to the squad after missing last weekend’s win over Loughgall because of a stiff neck injury.

“It was a bit of a shock to us all that Sammy missed the Loughgall game, but he was really in a bad way with a stiff neck problem and hopefully this week he’ll be back,” added Deery.

“We have changed our training schedule this week, we trained on the pitch last night, we are having our gym session this evening and then another training session tomorrow night, so that’s three nights on the bounce.

“Then I have to pick the team which I feel is good enough and is ready to do the business, thankfully we have done that quite a bit; people have been disappointed when they are out of the team, but for the short-term fix we have to get the results.”