INSTITUTE manager, Paul Kee is expecting his players to raise their game and return to winning ways against Bangor at the Riverside Stadium tomorrow following a frustrating run of three games without a win. (Kick-off 3 p.m.)
The Drumahoe men relinquished top spot in the Championship One table after a 1-1 draw at home to Loughgall last weekend.
And, after suffering a shock home defeat to Intermediate side, Newbuildings in the North West Senior Cup Final on Tuesday night, Kee is expecting major improvements when they host fourth placed Bangor.
Kee had an abundance of firepower at his disposal as they started the season impressively, including high scoring wins against Coagh (6-2), Limavady United (0-5), Carrick Rangers (5-1) and Donegal Celtic (4-2).
However, those goals dried up somewhat during the last two Championship encounters as they failed to convert their chances in successive draws against Dergview and Loughgall.
They welcome back striker, Darren McFadden from suspension tomorrow and the experienced Stephen Parkhouse is also poised to make a return to league action after a long-term injury to bolster the ‘Stute strikeforce.
McFadden, who has netted three times this season was in terrific form before being controversially sent off during the Dergview clash on October 19th.
Parky, McFadden return
Kee is delighted to have McFadden back in contention and he believes he can add some physical strength to his attacking line-up which he felt was lacking in the last two games.
“We need a physical element to our game at the minute,” said Kee.
“Darren gives us something different in terms of leading the line.
“He gets his body in front of defenders, he’s like a traditionally type of centre-foward and he has got that in his locker.”
Parkhouse made his long awaited return to first team action on Tuesday night, playing the entirety of the Cup Final against Newbuildings.
And Kee is delighted to have him back in the team.
“Parky could maybe sit on the bench and come on, or he may even start and play for an hour,” said Kee.
“To be fair ‘Parky’ is someone who we need because he can use his experience and talk to the players.
“He can give them a bit of help and encouragement at certain times in the game, because we are still a very inexperienced team.”
Kee expects Bangor to come to the Riverside and attempt to stop his side from playing their usual free-flowing game.
Therefore he has challenged the players to step up to the challenge.
“The performance and effort has been okay.
“We just have to raise the bar in terms of our play in the last third.
“Teams have been coming to Drumahoe to put men behind the ball, but we have to deal with that. “Hopefully we’ll start getting a better understanding on how to deal with sides defending deep against us.”