Institute manager Brian Donaghey aiming for final home success against Knockbreda

Institute manager Brian Donaghey expects his players to finish the 2021/22 season on a positive note when they host Knockbreda in Saturday’s final game of the season.

Institute manager Brian Donaghey wants to finish the season on Saturday with a home win over Knockbreda. Picture by George Sweeney
Institute manager Brian Donaghey wants to finish the season on Saturday with a home win over Knockbreda. Picture by George Sweeney

Donaghey was disappointed by the weekend 4-1 loss at Dundela, but he was quick to point out that he couldn’t be too hard on his youthful side who were fielding a completely different back four.

The former Cliftonville number two said he’s certain that his players will give their all for one last time this season at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium against the Belfast men.

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“We’re now looking forward to Saturday and I want us to finish in ninth position,” insisted Donaghey.

“So we’ll be going all out to win against Knockbreda. We also must look to keep the integrity of the league alive as well because there are other teams that may depend on us putting in a performance and we will because I want the lads to finish the season strongly.

“I told the boys straight the Dundela game that I wanted to put a show on next Saturday. I want us to get the ball down, play with freedom and I want them to express themselves and more importantly, really, really enjoy the Knockbreda game.

“I also told them that they had worked hard to be in the position we are now in and both myself and the boys want to finish in ninth spot which looked way, way beyond us just three weeks ago. We are in this position now and we want to consolidate ninth place. If we do manage to win, it will show a very good end of season form.

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“Winning becomes a habit, that was the case with us recently, it was a nice feeling there for a few weeks and I have to admit that Saturday’s loss at Dundela did hurt a bit but I would like us to bounce back this weekend against Knockbreda.”

The ’Stute boss admitted individual errors at bad times in the game cost his side dearly but stressed that for large periods in the first half the Drumahoe club did play well.

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“We conceded poor goals to be honest and we gave them away at bad times,” he added.

“We are back to a few individual errors and misjudgements and while we could use the excuse that we had a completely changed back four, with three 17-year-olds, listen, it is what it is.

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"The boys did a decent job last Tuesday (at Ards) and I may be expected a wee bit too much off them.

“Look, Dundela is a tough place to go for any team, no team likes going there. They are very direct and they are very good at what they do but we actually played quite well for long periods, especially in the first half when it was 1-0. We had some pleasing aspects from the game but overall we obviously were disappointed with the defeat.

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“Listen, I can’t be too hard on the boys because they have been brilliant for me but, yes, there was a ‘end of season feeling’ about Saturday’s game. I could even sense it on the way up on the bus but to be fair, they have got themselves into that position and because of that, the ‘end of season feeling’ can’t be helped, as it’s just human nature in that position.”