'Sean Connor has put a structure in place' - insists Institute's Conor Tourish

Institute's Conor Tourish headed home his first goal for the club, during Tuesday night's Bet McLean League Cup win over Harland & Wolff Welders.
Institute's Conor Tourish headed home his first goal for the club, during Tuesday night's Bet McLean League Cup win over Harland & Wolff Welders.

Defender Conor Tourish believes new boss, Sean Connor, provided Institute with a belief and structure that is already paying dividends since his appointment.

The 24-year-old, who netted his first goal for the club in their comfortable Bet McLean League Cup win over Harland & Wolff Welders on Tuesday, says the ex-Dundalk manager has steadied the ship.

“We had a few bad results before he came in and he’s steadied the ship,” he insisted.

“He has put a bit of a structure in place and we have a nice balance to the team now.

“He’s established a good shape and stuff like that. It’s about being hard to beat because we were conceding goals far, far too easily in our first few games of the season, it was madness to be fair.

“However, the last few results have put a bit of belief into us if nothing else and that has made all the difference. Hopefully now we can kick-on from there.

“We have now kept two clean-sheets this season, first against Coleraine, and now in the League Cup but we want to keep them coming.

“Even against Warrenpoint we gave away a sloppy goal and we have to cut out those silly mistakes because they cost you in games, especially when you come up against the Linfields, Cliftonvilles and Crusaders. Those avoidable goals cost a lot, so if we can get them cut out of our game I think we’ll be going in the right path.”

Tourish feels he’s starting to find his feet in the Danske Bank Premiership and was left disappointed that this weekend’s league clash at Glenavon has been postponed due to Gary Hamilton’s side facing Raith Rovers in the Scottish Challenge Cup.

“When you get momentum you want to keep going so it’s disappointing that we have no game,” he added.

“But we’ll train this week and then look to try to keep the run going in our next game in a few weeks time.

“It took me a while at the start to get used to stepping up to this level and getting used to the tempo. I didn’t start the first couple of games and I was biding my time but since I’ve got in, I’ve tried to take my chance.

“Over the last few weeks we have definitely improved and got a bit of a structure in our play since Sean has come in. He has worked on us getting a good shape about the team and we’re improving week on week which is good to see.

“It’s a big strong, physical league. It’s a type of league that I have never really played in before. As I said, coming up to this level, it was all about getting used to the tempo, standards and physicality because it’s completely different. I think I’m starting to find my feet now and hopefully I can push on now and keep improving.”

The ex-Letterkenny Rovers man, who has played in centre-midfield has built up a good partnership with Caoimhin Bonner, who recently joked that Tourish was ‘his legs’.

“I don’t know about that,” laughs Tourish. “‘Skinny’ has been quality over the last few seasons and in the last few games he’s been superb. I thought against Ballymena he was excellent and on Tuesday night he was very good.

”He’s just a good defender. He’s one of those boys you like to play with because he just loves defending. I;m not too sure about the ‘legs’ part because I think we are both on the same level there.

“I think it’s a good thing that you can play in different positions because at the end of the day you have more chance of playing.

“Yes, I know that centre-half would be my main position but I definitely don’t mind playing in either position. I went into centre mid tonight (Tuesday) and it was grand again. I have played there before as well so, to be honest, I would play anywhere as long as I’m playing.”