Blair seeks to build on Ards victory

INSTITUTE caretaker boss, Alan Blair, will attempt to secure back-to-back victories when he leads the Drumahoe men to Ballymoney to face Glebe Rangers tomorrow afternoon. (Kick-off: 3.00 p.m.)


And while the former defender received a significant boost with last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Ards, he’s experienced enough to know that he can afford to take nothing for granted, even if Glebe are currently propping up the Championship table.

Indeed, given that Glebe recorded a 1-0 victory at the Riverside Stadium in their last visit several weeks ago, Blair was the first to admit that last weekend’s game had been completed and now it was time to push on.

“I was delighted with last week’s performance and I was particularly pleased with the workrate of the playing staff. To get back to winning ways was very important to us and, hopefully, we can continue that type of form against Glebe on Saturday,” said Blair.

“It goes without saying that the same team will start the game and if we can repeat the same workrate and commitment, then I’d be confident we can avenge the defeat we experienced against them the last time we met,” he added.

Still keen to take on the vacant manager’s role at the club, Blair refused to get carried away insisting that he had made his interest known to the club’s Committee and would continue to prepare the team until told otherwise.

“The decision on the manager’s job is out of my hands. I’ve made it know that I would be interested in managing the team but, as I’ve said in the past, should the club opt to appoint someone else, then I will remain a loyal Institute supporter as I’ve been involved with the club for so long.”

Meanwhile, ‘Stute will not be hurried into making a change at managment level, according to chairman, Trevor Hewitt.

“We have a number of people who have expressed an interest in the position.

“In fact, we’ve received another enquiry this week, so we’re in no hurry to make an appointment.

“It’s important that we get the right man for the job and with Alan Blair having agreed to take charge of the team, we’ not in a major hurry,” he added.

Derry in Drumahoe

on Monday Night

Blair, therefore, is expected to be involved in the team which hosts Derry City in next Monday night’s Billy Kee Memorial Trophy game in Drumahoe, an annual fixture involving both local clubs.

“There’s a good relationship between Institute and Derry City as the two local senior clubs and while quite a few local players have now represented both clubs down the years, I think it’s great that a good relationship continues.

“Stephen Kenny has been good us by allowing us take players on loan and one such player, Adam Clarke, has continued to impress me since making his debut for us against Ards last week.

“I’ve no doubt Adam will be looking forward to the game as will so many of our players, but I hope to involve young players in that game if only to have a look at them.

“It’s very important to continue to blood young players and while Adam impressed against Ards, the same situation applied to Stephen Curry who is also developing into a senior player.”

Monday night’s match will kick-off at 7.30 p.m. and admission at the turnstiles will be £5.00.