INSTITUTE: Extra few days rest likely to help skipper Crown

Institute captain Graham Crown should have recovered from a slight knee injury.
Institute captain Graham Crown should have recovered from a slight knee injury.

Institute boss Kevin Deery is expected to a fully fit squad for tonight’s re-arranged Tennents Irish Cup tie against Newtowne (KO 7.45pm).

Skipper Graham Crown, who was struggling with a knee problem going into last Saturday’s game before it was postponed, is now fully fit, while duo Garbhán Friel and Stephen O’Donnell, who were also doubtful at the weekend because of family and work commitments are both available for selection.

“Those extra few days has helped Crowner so he should be OK, while both Garbhán and Stephen should be fine,” said Deery.

“It’s frustrating that the game was called off last weekend, but there’s nothing we can do about the weather, so we have to get on with it.

Deery wants a good cup run but he knows this evening’s encounter at the Riverside Stadium is a potential banana skin.

“At the end of the day it’s a derby game and because of that I know it’s going to be tough,” he added.

“I will be drumming it into my players that they’ll need to be up for it right from the off, because like every cup competition there are shocks and I don’t want us to be ‘that side’.

“I have got some info on Newtowne and they are doing well this season, they have only lost three times this season, once in the league and twice in cup competitions, so they’ll be coming to Drumahoe confident of causing an upset, so we need to be ready for that from the first whistle.”

Another cup run is what the Stute gaffer wants.

“Like the League Cup, I want to have a good Irish Cup run and although we aren’t looking too far ahead if we can get past Newtowne I would like another home tie against a side who we would fancy our chances against.

“Yes I know all the big sides like Cliftonville, Linfield, Crusaders and Coleraine come into the cup in the next round, but if we manage to get past Newtowne I would prefer not to meet one of the big boys until later on in the competition.

“But as I keep saying - myself and the players will only be focused at trying to get a job done against Newtowne and get into the next round.”