Win would be perfect finale
Institute welcome Larne to the Riverside Stadium this Friday night (KO 7,45pm) and manager Kevin Deery knows he won't need to have a team-talk.
Only a number of weeks ago the Waterside men were hammered 6-0 at Inver Park and because of that loss Deery expects his players to be looking to avenge that result.
“Look the heavy defeat we suffered at their place was an off day for us and I don’t think we’ll need any more motivation other than just reminding the boys of that day,” he said.
“To be fair when teams are there they have to be put to the swoard and we were that day and they done it to us, so we have to come out fighting and show that it was certainly an off day.
“That day was as low as I felt and I started to ask questions after the defeat.”
The Stute gaffer concedes three points on Friday evening would be a perfect way to end the year.
“It would be great to finish the year on a high and we have that opportunity,” he added.
“Friday night under the lights will be something different for the boys and it’s a game we are looking forward to.
“The boys had a couple of days off to recover from the Dergview game so that we can prepare for the Larne game. They have some decent Championship players and they are capable on their day so we have to be ready for it.” Deery feels David McAlinden’s side won’t be pleased with their current fourth place spot in the Championship table, they currently sit 12 points behind leaders Warrenpoint Town and six points behind Stute.
“I think Larne probably aren’t in the position they would like to be, they do invest and are trying their best to get out of our division,” he added.
“We are on the rise ourselves in terms of building a team, they are more established. They had a tough game on Boxing Day losing 3-2 to Ballyclare, so they will be looking to bounce back.”
Skipper Stephen O’Donnell will miss out on Friday night through suspension, but Dean Curry is likely to be added to the squad, while duo Jamie McIntyre and Stephen Curry will be looking for their places backs in the starting line-up.
In a few weeks time Stute should have duo Sammy Morrow and Raymond Foy fighting for a place in the squad.
“Raymond is going to come in and we are going to push for international clearance for him,” admitted Deery.
“He trained with us on Christmas Eve, but I think it will take him and Sammy a couple of weeks to get up to full pace. Over the next three or four weeks we are going to push them really hard to try and get them up to speed. I’m also hoping to bring in one more versatile defender to give us numbers and options in defence.”
The Drumahoe out-fit go into the game off the back of a hard fought point at Dergview, a game Deery felt his side should have won.
“I think we could have scored more goals against Dergview and that was the only real disappointment for me. I felt we should have scored more than one goal and that’s what we need to get more ruthless,” he added.
“We had a couple of great opportunities to take the lead at Dergview but didn’t take them and with probably their only attack in the second half they scored.
“Most teams when conceding in the 89th minute would fold, but I just applaud my players because they showed great desire and managed to score an equaliser late. They show great commitment all the time and it gives me shivers at times the effort which they put into everything and I can only praise my players for the way they are carrying themselves.”