INSTITUTE: Match fitness proves decisive at Drumahoe

Mark Scoltock, Institute, and Kyle Owens, Knockbreda, contest this high ball. INLS0916-126KM
Mark Scoltock, Institute, and Kyle Owens, Knockbreda, contest this high ball. INLS0916-126KM

Institute manager Kevin Deery always felt his side’s fitness would be the difference in the end against Knockbreda, on Saturday and he was proved right.

Deery told his players that despite still being score-less he always believed that they would have the upper hand after the break, as the visitors had only played one game in a few weeks and their match fitness levels wouldn’t be at their sharpest.

“They were decimated in the second half but I did a bit of homework on them and they had only played one Intermediate Cup game in the last month, one game in four weeks, so it’s hard to get up to a level,” he said.

“They put a lot into the first half but we created a lot of chances and should have been in front. I told the boys at half time to keep going and we would get our chances because they hadn’t played much and thankfully we did that.

“It was disappointing as a spectacle when the two men got sent off but we scored some good goals and that’s what I’m happy about.”

Deery also remarked that shooting into the changing room end seems to bring out the best in his players and he’s loving watching some of the football his young side are produced this campaign and in particular in recent weeks.

“I don’t know what it is but we finish strongly playing up the ways in the second half.

“I found myself thinking back to my playing days at Derry, playing down the hill at the Brandywell you seemed to always do better and yes there’s no hill here, but we seem to play better or look more dangerous coming into the changing room end.

“If I’m going to go into coaching I have to pride myself on something. I can’t pride myself on kick and rush; I like to have technical players and people who will take chances on the ball and play the right way.

“They are encouraged to do things like that and they are getting their rewards now.”