Institute entertain league leaders Loughgall
Institute manager Brian Donaghey is expecting a tough home test against Lough 41 Championship leaders Loughgall tomorrow afternoon (KO 3pm).
In their previous encounter at Lakeview Park in October, Nathaniel Ferris’ penalty just before half-time settled the game, but Donaghey admits his side played well that day and is taking encouragement from that performance.
The ’Stute boss also feels that his opposite number Dean Smith has built a squad capable of going all the way to the Danske Bank Premiership.
"That game to be honest was decided on a very dubious penalty decision for me and we actually played well that day and probably should have gone 1-0 or 2-0 up after Mark McFadden and Jamie Dunne had chances,” explained Donaghey.
"But they're a decent side and I think Dean has done a really good job there. He has been there four or five years now and he's got the squad together to try and match their ambitions.”
In recent weeks the Villagers have suffered a slight dip in form having only picked up four points from a possible 12, but Donaghey has been impressed by the leaders and concedes that Smith has been very respectful to his side.
"They've started well and if a blip is losing one and drawing one out of 18 games then I would love to have that blip. Dean's a good lad and they try to play the right way,” added Donaghey.
"They're quite vibrant but they're very respectful of what we're doing and having spoke to Dean quite a bit, he likes what we're trying to do and he can see a massive improvement and that particular day when they beat us, he did say that we were better than them.”
The former Cliftonville coach has told his players that they’ll need to start better against Loughgall than what they did at Clandeboye Park last weekend.
"Look we'll have a game plan in place but we would need to be better than the first 45 minutes at Ards on Saturday,” Donaghey added.
"But at home we've probably a half decent record at the Brandywell and we've given everyone that we've played at home a game this season, so I'm looking forward to the game.”
Donaghey confirmed that Matt Walker returns and Andrew Whiteside’s back injury should be fine.