Sean Connor concedes Institute are in a 'dog-fight' with Warrenpoint Town

Institute boss Sean Connor.
Institute boss Sean Connor.

Institute manager, Sean Connor still believes he can take the club in the right direction and that he’s got a squad capable of avoiding the drop.

The Drumahoe men slipped to the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership table after their latest defeat, this time at Dungannon Swifts, combined with Warrenpoint Town’s late victory at Carrick Rangers.

Town scored twice in stoppage time and leapfrogged ’Stute, moving two points clear, but Connor wants to get the fear factor out of his players.

“Look, I’ll be honest with you it’s a straight dog-fight between us and Warrenpoint now,” he stated.

“We have got to pick ourselves up and go again and now they are two points above us, but we have got to play them twice and we have to win those games.

“We have got a good bit of work to do, but all we can concentrate on now is our results. There’s 12 games left and we have got to win as many of those games as we possibly can.

“Today (Saturday) things didn’t go our way, but I still believe in what I’m doing here and I still believe in the set-up and the standards we are trying to set with the players.

“However I think now we and we have to try and take that fear and timidness out of them and go and hunt down points.”

The ex-Sligo Rovers boss conceded that his side let the importance of the encounter at Stangmore Park get to them as they never performed at all in the first half and were slightly better after the break.

“I’m obviously disappointed with the result,” he added. “I think the first goal was the key and I think after that it sucked a wee bit of confidence out of our team and I thought the penalty was harsh. Were they two goals better than us? Not really, but I told the boys afterwards, they did the basics better than us.

“They picked up more second balls, they turned our back four more effectively and put more crosses into the box.

“I just think in their own heads, given the enormity of this game, they realised if they lost it and I think that fear was in the team today.”

Connor hopes Ulster Senior League players James Henry and Peter Doherty and fellow new signings Jake Francis, David Carty and Robbie Hume can make an impact in the run-in.

“We have new bodies in the squad and maybe one or two of them need time to adjust and we are going to let them do that,” he added.

“My budget is very, very tight and it’s difficult for me to bring in experienced Irish League quality. We spent a lot of time with Shane McGinty and he decided to come here.

“We have brought in Peter Doherty and James Henry and they haven’t played at this level for a while, so it’s going to take time for them to adjust.

“But we just have to work hard, train hard and get a wee bit more confidence. I just thought we were a wee bit more timid all over the park and I’m not renowned for having timid teams, so that’s what probably annoyed me today.

“I have to do my job really well and make sure that we don’t have a hangover from the Dungannon game. Our match is Larne at home in a few weeks time, so that’s going to be another difficult encounter.”