IRISH LEAGUE: McDermott in Scoltock out
Institute host fellow title contenders Ballyclare Comrades, in Saturday's Championship One game of the day.
Boss, Kevin Deery wants his players to kick-on in what will be a massive December for his side.
The Waterside men have five league games - Ballyclare Comrades (H), Annagh United (A), Armagh City (H), Dergview (A) and Larne (H) - next month and the Stute gaffer is happy with his team’s form.
“We had a chat on Saturday after our gym session and we said that after originally not having too many games in December, we now have a big month coming up, with five games,” he stated.
“So while everyone else is thinking about the Christmas period and maybe easing off, we can’t afford that as we have a lot of games and to be honest I want us to kick on during that time.
“After those five league games we then only have three league games in January and February before the split.”
Earlier in the season, the Drumahoe club let slip a 2-0 lead to only earn a point at Dixon Park and Deery doesn’t want a repeat this weekend.
“I feel we need to beat one of our rivals and we have a chance this Saturday, as Ballyclare are just above us on goal difference,” he added.
“We played them earlier in the season and played very well that night, until Marty (Gallagher) went off with an injury and Harry (Doherty) went into goals and that changed the game that night.
“But we have found a bit of form and have picked up two big wins at notoriously difficult grounds at the Welders and Loughgall.”
Both sides had the weekend off and because of that Deery feels both sets of players will be raring to go.
“It’s a level playing field in terms that we both didn’t play last Saturday, so both teams should be fresh,” he added.
“We had a good gym session on Saturday and Monday, before training on the grass pitch at Drumahoe last night and tomorrow night.
“Although the indoor session have been very good for us, I felt we just need to get back training on grass, as we haven’t been on grass since the Loughgall game, which is some 10 days ago.”
On the team front it’s a case of one central-defender back from holidays and one departing, as Darryl McDermott jets back from New York later this week but Mark Scoltock is going away for a few days. Apart from that Deery confirmed the rest of the squad is fine.
“Darryl is back this week, but Mark is away and the rest at the weekend might have been good for Ryan Morrow and Gareth Brown,” explained the ‘Stute boss.