INSTITUTE’S HEAD of Development, Paul Kee insists he’s not ready to push the panic button just yet, despite the club’s third successive league defeat against Dergview in Castlederg on Saturday.
SIMON COLLINS reports
The Irish Championship One table doesn’t make pleasant viewing for Institute supporters at present with the club languishing at the bottom, however, Kee, who is currently in Switzerland with the N.Ireland under-17 squad, claims there were encouraging signs from Saturday’s performance.
Although admitting the club are in danger of making a habit of losing matches so early in the season, Kee has pleaded with supporters to be patient and judge the team’s league position at Christmas and not after three games.
The club’s new signings are starting to gel together and Kee is confident his troops are going in the right direction despite the poor start to the Championship campaign.
“Obviously we’re disappointed at getting beat because that’s three games on the trot, but it’s going to take us a couple of weeks to find our feet,” insisted Kee.
“That was our best performance on Saturday and we controlled about 70 per cent of the game especially in the second half. But we lacked that cutting edge.
“In saying that, we did have a couple of great opportunities, we hit the bar, the post but we just weren’t clinical enough. In terms of our play I was happy. I know it is another defeat but I’m not going to start pressing the panic button just yet.
“Ultimately the supporters don’t want to be bottom of the league, but there are circumstances which have dictated why we’ve started like we have. We’re playing catch-up and I’ll take part of the blame for that because we started back in pre-season late.”
It was a “wonder goal” from Dergview’s Aaron Arkinson which decided Saturday’s game and despite dominating possession and twice striking the woodwork, Kee was regretful his side lacked a cutting edge in front of goal.
“Supporters want to win and eventually we have to start winning matches,” he continued. “It was a wonder strike from young Arkinson which won the game and after that we dominated.
“Dergview played well and defended well and we need a bit of Dergview in us as well in terms of our defending, attitude and application.
“I’m not that concerned at this stage. I’m not going to start sacrificing my principles. Last year we stayed up in the division through graft, battling but that’s done and dusted now and we want to try and move on as a club.
“I personally think the level of players brought in are going to benefit the club in terms of making new strides for a brand of football which is entertaining and I think, on Saturday, supporters would have seen that.”
The Waterside man believes his side are capable of going on a winning run and hopes the break in the league this weekend will give his troops more time to prepare for the home clash against Loughgall on Saturday week.
“I think this team is capable of going on a winning run,” he added. “If we’re bottom at Christmas time and the supporters are worried then I’ll be worried too.
“At this stage of the season it doesn’t mean a lot. We’ve made that many changes and it’s going to take time. Ask me in four weeks time and if we have the same problem then we’ll be worried.
“We lost the match, irrespective of how we played. People might be getting edgy because when your losing it can become a habit. We can try and get a result in the Intermediate Cup against Portstewart on Saturday and we can use it as a preparation match ahead of the Loughgall game.
“We’re two weeks behind other teams but the good thing is we have two weeks to get the team prepared. I’m away in Switzerland with the Under-17 team this week but we have good staff there, Paul Carlyle, Alan Blair, Kyle Wallace, Dermot Brown and Brian Donaghy.
“So they are going to be servicing the players this week and the team looks a lot more sharper and fitter,” he concluded.