INSTITUTE’s experienced new recruits, Stephen Parkhouse and Paddy McLaughlin will be on board for tomorrow’s Championship One clash with Loughgall at the Riverside Stadium as the Drumahoe men go in search of their first league victory of the season. (Kick-off 3 p.m.)
SIMON COLLINS reports
Both players signed on the dotted line for the Waterside men before Wednesday’s transfer deadline and, alongside fellow newcomers, defender Dean Jarvis and goalkeeper, Lee McFadden, the new additions are expected to go straight into the squad as ‘Stute recommence their faltering league campaign.
Parkhouse’s return to the club will be a welcome move as Head of Development, Paul Kee was forced to loan striker, Joe McCready to Dungannon Swifts this week to ‘balance the books’.
“We needed that bit more experience so we’ve brought in Paddy McLaughlin and Stephen Parkhouse,” explained Kee. “Paddy’s a good pro. and has got a lot of games under his belt. He’s got good leadership qualities and he’s exactly what we need in the changing room.
“‘Parky’ has missed a lot of football in the past couple of years. Now he’s had his operation and is keen to get back playing. He doesn’t want to waste any more time. I think he’ll get us goals.
“We had to let Joe go out on loan,” continued Kee. “It’ll be good for him to go out and get experience at Premier League level.
“He’s on loan for a season but he’s got another year left on his contract with us. We needed him to go out because we have a limited budget.
‘Stute have shipped in seven goals in their opening three league games and Kee stressed the importance of resolving their defensive problems as soon as possible.
“We’ve been a bit naive in our defending. We’ve defended poorly but hopefully we can resolve that. And when the chances present themselves hopefully players like ‘Parky’ can put them away and we can start turning things around.”
Kee is confident a win tomorrow will kick-start their season and with four consecutive fixtures at the new and improved Riverside Stadium - the new £1 million stand unveiled yesterday afternoon - he feels his side have a great chance of turning around their fortunes.
“We’ve been playing a good brand of football but just haven’t been taking our chances. We’ve been chasing games because we’ve been given soft goals away.
“We’ve got Saturday to get our league season off and running and I’m confident if we can put in a good performance and get the right result.
“It’s a dogged league and we need that battling mentality. We’re getting there but I’m not panicking. We need to put in a sequence of wins and I’m confident we can do that.