Institute boss Brian Donaghey fuming after latest loss
Manager Brian Donaghey was fuming after lowly Dundela easily swept Institute aside at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Saturday.
The Drumahoe club, who were the better side in the opening 30 minutes, were disappointing after the break after appearing to let their heads drop after Kyle Owens’ opener on the stroke of half-time.
Donaghey was in no mood to hide his feelings after the result and admits some of his players simply aren’t good enough for the Lough 41 Championship, adding he was disappointed by the performances of some of the more senior players in the squad.
“The second half was absolutely embarrassing,” insisted Donaghey. “It was the most embarrassing second half I’ve ever been involved with and I’m sick. I knew I needed players from the day I came in but it was just so evident there, I probably need six or seven players next month.
“I’m working tirelessly behind the scenes to get new players in but until then we just need to get to January 1st because I can’t watch that. I don’t want to be part of it and I don’t want my name associated with it. Today it’s on me, I put them out in the second half but after they got their instructions we just went out with a whimper.
“Look, that comes with a young, inexperienced team who can’t see out things. Panic can set in and there was a distinct lack of confidence in some players while some just aren’t good enough at this level and that’s probably the truth of it.
“I was under no illusions when I came in. I didn’t get excited when we won a few games and what I thought after week one is the same as week 15.
“We don’t deserve the kind of performance we got today, particularly in the second half, but I’ll get players. I guarantee I will get players because if I don’t get the players I want in January then I won’t expect anyone to stay. This is a challenge I took on and, yes, it’s probably tougher than what I thought.”
Donaghey hopes to add at least five players during the January transfer window but concedes his team’s current form isn’t helping attract players to the club.
“When you are winning games people want to be a part of it, so we have to sell the club. They will be playing in a good facility, for a good club,” he added.
“I have been speaking to players since 9am this morning (Saturday), both north and south and I’m meeting more players on Sunday. Yes, it’s a hard sell once you are losing matches, I appreciate that, but I’m going for a young, hungry type of player, people with maybe something to prove. I want to give them an opportunity to play 15 or 20 games because they’ll play every week and that’s all I can offer them right now, using us as a stepping stone.
“I’m quite confident come January 1st that we’ll have a few additional bodies.”
Having had Brendan McLaughlin, Shaun Leppard and Joel Gorman dismissed in ’Stute’s last four games, Donaghey admits discipline must improve but he believes frustration is playing a part in the red-cards.
“Three men sent off in four games is just ridiculous,” he insisted. “I don’t even know if Benny deserved to get sent-off today. The first was a yellow for dissent, the second one I thought might have been a foul on Benny.
“Benny’s form has completely nose dived and he hasn’t kicked a ball in six or seven weeks but he’s not the only one. There’s just a lack of confidence and we must get the trust factor backed.”
The former Cliftonville assistant boss, who has always maintained Saturday’s opponents would start moving up the table, felt his team were more than a match for Dundela and should have been a few goals ahead before Kyle Owens gave the visitors the lead just before the break.
“I thought for the first half-hour we were very good but while we had plenty of ball in good areas we didn’t have an attacking threat and don’t look like scoring at the minute.
“No matter how much possession and how well you’ve dominated for 35 odd minutes, they are a team who can turn the game on it’s head as they have a few 6” 5’ players who cause you problems.
“I told the boys to try and restrict corners and free-kicks but I think they had three and hit the post twice and scored from the other. That was their sum total of their attacking play, so for everything we did in the first half, we were outdone by a poor goal against the run of play.
“I always knew Dundela would pick up points, especially when Niall (Currie) went in. He knows the league but are they any better than us? Yeah, the second half says so, but like in so many games we were on top for a good 35 minutes but if you aren’t scoring whenever you’re on top, the midfield gets nervous, the defenders get nervous and so does the keeper. It’s a knock on effect. Once you don’t take the lead or score the goals your play deserves then nerves and doubts kick in.
“We need an out and out poacher because that’s what takes teams to a different level. We could have won four of our last six games if we had an inform striker but we’ve tried everyone. There’s not one player in the dressing room who can say they haven’t got a chance since I came in. I don’t have a massive squad but some of the players should really be stepping down to U20s football for a while.
“Young Paddy McLaughlin is 17 and I shouldn’t be relying on to come into senior football week in, week out but full credit to him. He plays as he plays every week and you know what you are getting from Paddy, but my so called senior players ,I don’t know what I’m getting from them week after week.
“They’re playing for their futures at this club and some aren’t doing enough to stay ahead of what will be a busy January.”