INSTITUTE STRIKER, Joe McCready believes the timely arrival of former Antrim forward, Mark Kelly will help ease the goal burden on his shoulders and spark a revival at the Drumahoe club.
SIMON COLLINS reports
Relegation threatened ‘Stute will attempt to secure consecutive league victories for only the second time this season when they entertain Loughgall at the Riverside Stadium tomorrow afternoon. (Kick-off 3 p.m.)
And McCready, believes his newly formed partnership with former Chimney Corner striker, Kelly - who netted twice in the Waterside men’s 0-3 victory over Larne last Saturday - will kick-start ‘Stute’s faltering relegation survival bid.
“Mark’s a big lad, he’s as strong as an ox,” said McCready. “He holds up the ball well and hopefully that’ll help me create more space for me. It suits me better to play off somebody up front.
“We haven’t had that many strikers at the club this season,” he continued. “Decky Divin isn’t a striker, he’s more of a left-sided player but he was playing up front. This guy Kelly is an out-and-out striker and that can only help the both of us playing up front together and hopefully we can form a decent partnership.
“I’m enjoying my football again and he’ll help take a bit of pressure off me and it might help me get a few more goals before the end of the season.”
There has been significant changes in both the playing staff and management team at the Riverside over the last few weeks following the arrival of Paul Kee and Paul Carlisle which was swiftly followed by the return of Mark Scoltock and the additions of Joe Gray and Jason McGrinder.
Those changes have brought with them a positive outlook and confidence is high in the Institute camp ahead of tomorrow’s Irish Championship clash.
“There’s been a fair view changes at the club in the last few weeks and thankfully it’s been changes for the better,” claimed McCready.
“Paul Kee, Paul Carlisle and Alan Blair all have their own say at the club, they’ve been around the game for a while now and so we listen to what they’ve all got to say.
“‘Aggy’ is in charge but Kee has his say in the coaching side of things and has been bringing players into the team. The squad’s far bigger than I can ever remember it being since I came here two years ago.
“We played some nice stuff on Saturday against Larne and hopefully we can reproduce that kind of performance against Loughgall.
“The next four games coming up we’ll be looking for maximum points from. They’re against teams that are down around where we are in the league table and we have the squad now to go on a bit of a run.”
Stute’s relegation run-in - Loughgall (H); Ballyclare Comrades (A); Ballymoney United (H); Bangor (H); Limavady (H); HW Welders (A); Ballinamallard (A).