Institute to face in-form Welders at the Brandywell
Institute manager Brian Donaghey always knew that Paul Kee would get things right at Harland & Wolff Welders.
The Belfast men, who take on ’Stute at the Brandywell on Saturday, got off to a terrible start to the season, but since December they have really hit form both in the Lough 41 Championship, but also in the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup.
In goalkeeper Michael Argyrides and striking duo Matthew Ferguson and Michael McLellan they have three of the in-form players in the division and Donaghey knows the trio are a big threat at both ends of the pitch.
"Listen, all credit to Paul, to be honest I knew he would turn it around, because he has got too many good players and when you've got a top goalkeeper and the two striker they have, any team would like to have them,” he insisted.
"Strikers get you out of trouble and that’s what has happened for the Welders. Paul got them more solid at the back, they are more workman-like and he’s getting a tune out of them and if you piece that all together along with the two strikers, you will win more games than enough, if you’ve got firepower up front.”
Last weekend Donaghey’s side suffered a narrow 2-1 loss at title chasing Warrenpoint Town and he now hopes they can bounce back with a positive result on Saturday afternoon.
"We've two home games coming up against very tough opposition but we have to see how we get on in those two matches,” he added.
"I went and watched the Welders last Tuesday night against Ballinamallard, it was a very tough game, but I think they were able to have five or six players sitting in the stand beside me and that shows the strength of their squad.
"They're chalk full of top players, they've got a good vibrancy and good energy about them. It was a really, really good game against a really strong Ballinamallard team, so we're under no illusions that both the Welders and Ballinamallard games are going to be very tough for us.
"So I was glad that I took the opportunity to go and watch that match live last week and have a good look at what both sides are maybe about.”
Former Dergview frontman Sean McCarron has netted twice in his last two games and Donaghey hopes the striker can continue that run.
"Sean actually came to us with a niggling injury, so we knew that we were going to have to be patient with him,” he explained.
"We haven’t been able to use him at his full capacity yet, but you could see on Saturday when he came on, he caused Warrenpoint trouble. He did really well the previous week against Dergview and if we can now maybe get him playing 60 or 70 minutes that would be brilliant.
"Everyone in the squad would benefit having Sean playing on a more regular basis, but again we have to be very, very careful with his injury situation, but he’s training hard and we’re just trying to coax him along and get as much out of him as we can over the next two months.
"Look, Sean has got fantastic feet, good ability and he’s always scored goals wherever he has been and he fully deserved his goal at Warrenpoint last weekend.
"I thought he was very good in the two cameo appearances he has made in recent weeks, but hopefully there’s a lot more to come from him.”