INSTITUTE: Players still to hit top form
Institute boss Kevin Deery feels that slowly but surely his side are getting up to speed with things this season.
In recent weeks the likes of Aaron Harkin, Darryl McDermott, Stephen Curry, Michael McCrudden and Ryan Morrow are starting to find a bit of form.
But the likes of Gareth Brown, Ciaron Harkin and Jamie McIntyre still haven’t hit top form, which they showed last season.
Injury victims Alex Pomeroy and Sean Roddy are starting to force their way back into Deery’s plans after their respective broken leg and knee injuries.
New signing Sean McCarron has netted four goals already this season, but suspension meant he has missed the last three games but returns to the squad this weekend.
And on-loan additions Ryan Doherty and Gareth McFadden are getting a taste of what life is like in senior football and are still finding their feet.
“We’re definitely getting there but there are still boys coming back who need to get up to speed again,” said Deery.
“Being a part time club, it’s hard to manage everything so sometimes it’s up to the personnel to go away and maybe do a bit themselves to push themselves on about or they’ll not get in the team.”
Deery made a bold change at half-time last weekend replacing striker Brown with Pomeroy and once again the teenager was a handful.
“When Alex came on in the last game (against Lurgan Celtic) he gave us a real running purpose and a real desire to get in behind,” he added.
“At times in the first half we weren’t getting in behind them and I felt, especially after we took the lead, that we stopped what we were doing.
“When Alex came on, as you could see he stretches teams, he gives them that problem in behind and he gives us a physical presence as well, he’s an asset to us.”
At the start of the campaign, Deery set a target for his players and after their heavy loss to Larne a few weeks ago he wanted a response from his squad and so far they are on the right path for both targets.
“After the loss at Larne we targeted 21 points,” he added.
“After that tough defeat away to Larne we wanted nine points from the three fixtures and we’re on course for that and that will set us up for the turnaround in fixtures.
“We’ve had a tough start, we’ve been away to Warrenpoint, Ballyclare and Larne who are the top three at the minute.
“We came to Armagh and we felt that we really needed a massive three points because it would have been disastrous if we had just come away with a point or zero points.
“It’s back to back wins and it sets us up for Annagh this week and as you know if you go three in a row in this league, you’ll be right in there.”