Players missing for road trip

Institute's Paddy McLaughlin misses this weekend's trip to Loughgall.
Institute's Paddy McLaughlin misses this weekend's trip to Loughgall.

IT’S back to the bread and butter of league action for Institute this weekend when they travel to Loughgall, on Saturday (KO 3pm).

Since their defeat at Dundela in November, the Waterside men have went on an impressive run of five victories and one draw and Kee wants the unbeaten run to keep going.

“The league is the most important competition for us,” said Kee.

“We have to try and win as many games as we can if we want to stay in with a realistic shout of challenging for a top two spot. It’s a big game for us and we have to go there and do our very best to try and get the three points.

“Now it’s a case of trying to keep momentum going and in fairness that was the key in the first half of the season.

“To be honest this first half of the season was better than last year’s first half of the season and there is definitely good signs of improvement in the team and I feel there’s more to come from the team.”

Like every manager during this time of the transfer window Kee is hoping his squad remains intact with hours remaining before the deadline, Dean Jarvis’ proposed move to York City fell through on Tuesday, but Kee’s worried a few other players may leave.

“At the minute it’s just a case of getting through Thursday and hoping the squad stays intact, because there has been interest from other clubs about certain players, so we have to hope that they don’t go,” he added.

“If we can keep the nucleus of the squad then I feel we have a chance of getting that second spot.

“But at the minute we have a number of injury problems going into the Loughgall game and because we haven’t signed anyone then the squad is getting a wee bit light.

“I have to try and keep the squad competitive, but the reality is if we do lose two or three players through injury then we are asking for trouble.”

’Stute travel to Lakeview Park with defenders Paddy McLaughlin and Jarvis missing, fellow centre-back John Curran is struggling with a back problem, Declan McKeever has also a back injury and Darren McCauley missed training on Thursday night because of tonsillitis problems.

On the plus side Stephen Parkhouse returns from suspension, but Darren McFadden misses out again.

“Paddy is out injured and Curran has a bit of a back trouble at the minute, so is Declan McKeever after Saturday’s match, but Parkie and Warner Mullan are both available for selection.”

The last time these two sides met in the league goals from Neil Harkin and Jarvis was enough for ’Stute to claim a 2-0 win over Colin Malone’s men, but Kee is expecting a more difficult encounter away from home this weekend.

“Our form in fairness away from home has been good and I have always had a decent record in recent times up at Loughgall, we won 4-3 up there last year, but the unfortunate thing is that we are going to be down a few bodies, but we just have to get our head down and work hard.”