INSTITUTE manager, Paul Kee insists he’s not going to push the panic button just yet, despite admitting there has been an ‘element of doubt’ creeping into the players’ mentality of late.
Following three heavy league defeats on the bounce against Coleraine (0-4), Portadown (1-4) and Ballinamallard (0-2), Kee claims the morale in the Riverside Stadium dressing room has taken a hit.
The club have just scored once in their last three games in the Irish Premiership which has been another concern for Kee but he’s tipped his players to bounce back with a positive result against Glentoran tomorrow at The Oval. (Kick-off 3.00 p.m.)
Eddie Patterson’s charges, who have only lost once in their last four games, earned a point against rivals Linfield last weekend but Kee is confident his side can salvage something form the game.
“Saturday was obviously a disappointing result because Ballinamallard were below us and the win took them above us,” noted Kee. “People then start pressing the panic button but we’re not panicking because we’re now half-way through the season and there’s plenty of football to be played.
“We’ve had our difficulties with injuries and suspensions this last while but we all know that’s a part of every team’s season but in our case we’re still - as a club and a team - very inexperienced when it comes to the Premiership.
“The challenge is to try and learn as much about the league as we can and we have to be able to fast-track that every week. The players and staff are trying to learn from our mistakes as we go along.
“Mistakes have cost us dearly in recent games and we have experienced a dip in confidence. We’re not panicking about it. We’re trying to help the players through this bad tough games ahead
And it could get worse with games against the Glens, Crusaders, Glenavon and Cliftonville on the horizon.
“Every game is tough,” added Kee. “That’s part of the problem at the minute. There’s a scepticism. If people expect you to get beat and the players expect to get beat, then you are going to get beat!
“So everyone has to stay strong and there has to be belief. We have enough ability at the club but whether we have the right mentality or experience, that will be judged over the course of the season.
“The players need to learn fast and if we can go to Glentoran and play to our maximum and get back that edge to our game we can get a result.
“When the players read in the local Press about another heavy defeat for ‘Stute it does affect, particularly the young players. It’s definitely affected the more experienced players and there’s been a element of doubt creeping in.”
Captain, Paddy McLaughlin, will again miss tomorrow’s game through injury but Stephen Curry has returned to training and could be involved tomorrow.