Maintaining the level of performance they showed to beat Newry City 2-0 on Friday night is key for Institute to continue their good start to the season according to Manager Paddy McLaughlin.
The former central defender guided his side to their fourth Danske Bank Premiership victory of the current campaign to move them onto 14 points for the season – six of them having come against Darren Mullen’s fellow promoted team.
Goals late in the first half from Gareth Brown and Joe McCready made the difference in the scoreline, but put bluntly, Stute were better all over the pitch against a completely lacklustre Newry side who haven’t taken a league win in just shy of two months now.
McLaughlin’s men were lively from the outset and had they won by more, then few could have argued. The visiting boss felt his side were well worth their victory and he wants that level of performance to continue.
“We’ve put performances in like that over the last couple of weeks and we’ve come away with zero. I just think the difference between then and tonight is that when the chances came around we were good enough to take them. That was important. We probably could have scored one or two more, but we didn’t have to score a third. We were 2-0 up at half-time and we knew it was just about managing the game. The boys were excellent in how they did that,” he felt.
“That level of performance has been there before, so it’s no surprise to us. If they can maintain that as best we can, there’s a better chance of picking up more points along the way.
“We knew their threat and we knew we had to nullify that threat, but we concentrate on our own threats as well and I think we were really well organised. We had boys barking out orders right across the pitch throughout the game and that’s massive, especially for a young side. You hear some of the younger players coming onto the pitch and giving our orders to more senior players and it’s brilliant for us because that’s them maturing quickly.”
It was a much different story for Darren Mullen who admitted that the watching Gary Hamilton would have little to fear when Newry travel to Mourneview Park next Saturday, if City produce as dismal a display as they did on Friday,
“If I was in Gary Hamilton’s shoes, I wouldn’t be too worried about playing Newry next week. You can’t dress that up any other way, but part of it is how we react. We knew this year was going to be difficult. I can take, to an extent, getting beaten last week [against Linfield] and putting in a bit of a shift, trying and playing some decent football, but there’s nothing positive to take out of this performance,” he said following the defeat to Stute.
Newry City AFC: Coleman, McArdle (Mullen 58), M Hughes, King, Boyle, McCann, Carville, S Hughes, Teggart (Delaney 66), McCabe, Johnston (Lavery 66)
Subs not used: Maguire, Walker, Healy, Durnin
Institute: Gallagher, McLaughlin, Bonner, D Curry, Doherty, Harkin, McCrudden, Jarvis, Brown (Moorehead 74), Wilson, McCready (S Curry 85)
Subs not used: R Morrow, Scoltock, Dunne, J Morrow, Henderson
Referee: Philip Farrugia (Malta)