Institute boss Kevin Deery wants his players to go and express themselves in tonight’s JBE League Cup clash at Premiership champions Crusaders.
Deery says there is absolutely no pressure on his side as they go into the tie as massive underdogs and because of that his team should go and enjoy this evening’s tie at Seaview.
“All the players will be raring to go and everyone is looking forward to it as it’s the Premier League champions we are playing,” he said.
“As I have said they are all itching to play so it’s a bit of a headache for me but, yes, I’ll be looking for a positive result - but I have to look after my players and Saturday’s game at Armagh comes around quick.
“Crues just went above Linfield into top spot in the Premier Division, so we know it’s going to be a really difficult game for us, but the one thing I will be telling the players is for them to express themselves.”
Stephen Baxter’s outfit have already played the Waterside men in a pre-season friendly in July, with the Belfast men coming from behind to win 6-2.
“To be fair we were very patched up in that game, I think at the time we had a few boys struggling and anything that could have gone wrong did that day, from players not being able to make it, to having a problem with the kit, so we had a real nightmare of a time,” Deery added.
“However since then we have come on leaps and bounds and in fairness they were playing competitive games in Europe at that time, so they were miles ahead of us, in terms of everything like preparation and fitness.
“But tonight will be a great test for our young players and speaking to them they are bitterly disappointed that we didn’t get all three points on Saturday, but I think it will be a different scenario for them tonight.”
Summer signings Ciaron Harkin and Aidan McCauley to name but two, who have come through the youth ranks at Derry City, have moved to Drumahoe to get a taste of senior football, but they will be hoping to play at a higher level in the future and because of that Deery will be expecting them to showcase their talent at Seaview this evening.
“I’m sure all of the players at Institute have aspirations to play at a higher level and I’m smart enough to see it,” he added.
“I’m sure some of the younger guys like Ciaron and Aidan, who have been top players at youth and reserve football level, and so I’m sure all the young players will be looking to show Crusaders that they are good players and that they could probably play at a higher level.
“But regardless of that you still have to earn your right to play at a higher level. You have to battle it out and hard work will get you places in football. So that’s what I’ll be telling the players to all go out and express themselves but also work hard for each other.”