Institute boss Kevin Deery has described this weekend’s Championship clash at PSNI as ‘must win’.
After Saturday’s results the home side sit just two points behind Stute and three behind second placed Ballyclare Comrades, who they hammered 3-0 last weekend.
“You have to give PSNI a lot of credit, because they inflicted Warrenpoint’s two defeats of the season and also stopped them from scoring and I think they are the only team this season to stop Warrenpoint from scoring, so they are no mugs,” he said.
“They beat us a few weeks ago and they are now two points behind us, they’ll be full of confidence; I don’t think our confidence will take too much of a hit from the Warrenpoint loss.
“We battled really well and probably deserved at least a point in the game; but we know that PSNI are free-scoring so we have to go there, be ready and meet them head on.”
That defeat at Newforge in January is something Deery is hoping his players will use to motivate themselves, as their performance that day wasn’t good enough, in fact it was a terrible display, which ended with the Drumahoe men not having one single shot on target.
“Sometimes a defeat and a poor display against a team, can be good motivation whenever you realise that you didn’t perform and you let yourself down a bit,” he added.
“It has only happened to me only a handful of times since I have been here some 18 months or so; there was three or four performances where we were just flat and not at it, so hopefully it’s good motivation.
“As I said they’ll be full of confidence, they are scoring goals and beating top teams, so it’s not an easy match, but it’s a game that we need to win, to go ahead of Ballyclare, as we desperately want to finish at least second.”
Deery has a fully fit squad to choose from and concedes now is the time for the squad to really knuckle down and basically play through the pain barrier as the business end of the season starts to hot up.
Trio Dean Curry, Gareth Brown and Kyle Friel-Curran will all be hoping they can force their way into Deery’s plans, as despite being fit last weekend the squad wasn’t changed and all three missed out.
“For me now you really need to push yourself now and I expect everyone to be available,” he added.
“We have a few niggles but with eight games of the season left, I expect everyone to start pushing themselves and that’s my message to the players.
“You have got to put your body on the line at times, as we are desperate to try and finish as high as we can and get out of this division, it’s not going to be next season, it has to be this season that we get up.”