IRISH CUP: Institute boys ready for Linfield test

Institute manager Kevin Deery knows his players will be relishing next month's Tennent's Irish Cup tie against Linfield.

Sunday, 8th January 2017, 1:31 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:00 pm
Institute winger Stephen Curry scored twice at Ballyclare Comrades on Saturday.

The Championship men entertain the Blues at Drumahoe after seeing off Ballyclare Comrades, on Saturday and he feels it’s a perfect place for his players to showcase their talents.

“It’s a good opportunity for our players to test themselves against the best,” admitted Deery.

“We did it last year in the League Cup against a very strong Crusaders side and we managed to win, so we look forward to the game, but also knowing we have a couple of league fixtures coming up.

“It just can’t be about the next round of the Irish Cup but it’s the tie if you avoid one of the lower teams you would probably take that. I geniuely feel that a lot of our boys probably can make the step up and play in the top division.”

The Waterside out-fit know they will be massive underdogs going into the tie, but Deery doesn’t mind that and is looking forward to the Riverside Stadium being a packed house.

“Look Linfield are traditionally the biggest club in Northern Ireland football and we are only on the start of our journey,” he added. “I know for a fact we’ll relish the tie, I know our boys will really look forward to it. It will probably be my first time as manager of Institute that we’ll have a packed ground.

“We had a decent crowd against Ballinamallard in the play-off, but I’m sure having spoken to Paddy (McLaughlin), who has experience playing Linfield, he has told me that there will be a very good crowd. So hopefully the club gets a few pound in, because at this stage that’s where we are at. We are grafting away for the love of the game, so we’ll look forward to the tie.”

The Stute gaffer was really pleased with his side’s 4-2 win at Ballyclare Comrades.

“We had a tough game today, but we were excellent and thoroughly deserved to be in the next round,” he added.

“Hopefully now we can kick on a wee bit and look forward to these next few weeks coming up.

“Recently we have had four draws and two wins in our last six games, so we haven’t been a million miles away. I had a good feeling coming up to Ballyclare that things were just going to fall for us and thankfully they did.”

Deery was also pleased for Sammy Morrow and all his hard work behind the scenes paid off.

“He’s at a stage in his career he knows what it takes to get their and he has put in a lot of work,” added Deery. “I think if you asked him to come on, of the back off not playing games for three or four months, in this short turn over we have had with him, it’s testament to himself and Paddy (McLaughlin) who has been putting the hours in with him.

“We are delighted for him and the team, but we kick-on again and we can’t just settle for that. We have three massive league games and a massive Irish Cup game against Linfield coming up.”