Institute boss Brian Donaghey aiming for positive result at Annagh United

Institute manager Brian Donaghey believes last week’s draw at title chasing Ballyclare Comrades is the standard his side need to reach every week.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 7:00 am
Institute striker Brendan McLaughlin is expected to start at Annagh United tomorrow afternoon.

The Waterside men, who travel to face Annagh United on Saturday (3pm), had to settle for a scoreless draw at Dixon Park last weekend but Donaghey was pleased with their all round performance and wants a repeat display tomorrow afternoon at the BMG Arena.

Ciaran McGurgan’s side, like 'Stute, have been inconsistent this season and currently sit just six points ahead of the Drumahoe men in the Lough 41 Championship table, but over the last few weeks they have lost four of their last five league games.

“The boys definitely showed up well last week, they were up for the fight and I was really happy with a lot of their performances. We had a good training night on Tuesday and we’ll be looking to get a game plan in place to get compete and possibly get three points away to a very well organised and experienced Annagh side,” he stated.

“Annagh’s pitch is a strange wee pitch as it’s very narrow and quite long. You would nearly think it’s not regulation size because of how narrow it is but I have had only two experiences down there and I think they were two good experiences to be fair, so I’m hoping we get a third now on Saturday.”

’Stute travel to Portadown with Brendan McLaughlin available after the striker missed last weekend’s draw at Ballyclare Comrades through suspension and Donaghey feels if the Donegal man had been available he would have made a difference at Dixon Park.

“We also have Benny back in the squad and that’s a massive lift for us,” he added.

“I think if he had played last week, and I suppose it’s easy saying it now, but I do believe had he played then he might have been the one that made the difference in the game as it was such a tight game. However when it started to really open up, then Benny could definitely added something to our forward play.

“He’s chomping at the bit. He trained very well on Tuesday night and he’s looking forward to getting back on the pitch.”

The ex-Cliftonville number two also confirmed that skipper Cormac Burke may be in contention to feature in the squad this weekend.

“Burkey may be back. He has been seeing a podiatrist about his broken toe so hopefully he might be back but we have been saying that now for a few weeks. Fingers crossed though he’s back this week.

“If he does return then it will be an extra body on board and keeping our better players fit is paramount really because once we have our best team on the pitch, then I think we’ll be competitive.

“There’s no secret to the fact that when Shaun Doherty and Liam Walsh didn’t play against Newry City we were definitely down two key players, that was proved last week at Ballyclare when they were back in the side.

“But look, I’m actually looking forward to the match and I think the surface will suit us. The size of the pitch will suit us.

“However, we need to be ready for a tough battle because they have probably a lot more experience than what I initially thought they had because when I looked at their last few games, I saw they had Ryan Harpur, Niall Henderson, Robbie Norton and Stephen Murray.

“In fact Stephen Murray has a habit of doing well against teams I have been involved with, so I hope that doesn’t rear its ugly head again.”