Skipper wants to go all the way to glory

Institute's Paddy McLaughlin.
Institute's Paddy McLaughlin.

INSTITUTE’S Paddy McLaughlin wants to go all the way in this season’s Coca/Cola Intermediate Cup.

The Waterside men, who were booted out of the competition last year because they fielded an ineligible player after they reached the final, face Glentoran Seconds, at the Oval, this Saturday at the quarter-final stage.

That disappointment of getting dismissed from the cup is something he and his team-mates are using for that extra little bit of momentum.

“We really want to go all the way this year to the final, especially after last year’s disappointment, when we got as far as the final and then we were kicked out of it,” he stated.

“We definitely would like to make up for it this year and go one better, not just getting to the final, but to go on and win it.

“Every player wants to win trophies, hopefully we’ll be up their challenging for the league come the end of the season, but if we don’t win the league, then the Intermediate Cup is the last piece of silverware, which we can win, so yeah we want to win it.

“We have a great chance, because we are now at the quarter-final stage and are two games away from the final.”

McLaughlin is experienced enough to know that this weekend’s test is going to be difficult, particularly with the game being staged at the Oval.

“Although I haven’t seen Glentoran Seconds play, we have heard reports about them and by all accounts they are a good young side,” he added.

“A club the size of Glentoran, who are known throughout the country, then no doubt their second team is going to be filled with good players and they’ll have a lot of young players coming through with big potential.

“They will also have a few players who have been in and around the first team squad this season, but no matter what team they play, any player who represents Glentoran football club is going to be good, so I’m expecting a very tough game.”

The skipper was bitterly disappointed with the share of the spoils they got from last weekend’s league clash with fellow title contenders Dundela.

In fact the ex-Derry City man felt they had enough chances in the closing stages to claim maximum points.

“It was two points dropped rather than one gained, especially after the chances we created in the last 10 or 15 minutes.

“Although there wasn’t much football played by either side, because the pitch wasn’t great and probably both sides were a wee bit nervous trying not to lose the game, rather than trying to win it and because of that both sides were a bit cagey.

“I think we had three or four chances at the end and because of that it’s definitely two points dropped.

“But to be fair to them they are a good side, I think they have scored goals in every game that they have played this season, so for us to come away with a clean-sheet is a positive.

“They have some good players and they also have that physical thing about them as well, all around the pitch they are big and strong, so we have to take a positive from the fact that we stood firm and got a point.”

The centre-back who has been in and out of the side in recent weeks because of suspension and injury, but McLaughlin hopes he can now get a run of games under his belt from now until the end of the season.

“To be honest I think I have struggled recently because I haven’t have had a run of games,” he added.

“One minute I was playing then next I was either suspended or injury and that has stopped my momentum. When you are playing regularly you normally our on top of your game, but hopefully I’m starting to get back to where I should be and where I would like to be.

“I have been wee bit disappointed over the last few weeks by my form, but now that I’m back and clear from suspensions, I now just want to just keep on playing for the rest of the season.”