Institute boss Brian Donaghey warns players they can take nothing for granted ahead of Queen's University trip
Institute manager Brian Donaghey has warned his players they can take no team for granted in the Lough 41 Championship.
Donaghey’s rejuvenated side travel to bottom of the table Queen’s this weekend, fresh from their dramatic 2-1 victory over high flying Ards last Saturday which moved them up to ninth. It was a win the Stute boss admits his side probably didn’t deserve but one he believes which shows just how little there is between the teams in the division.
“If you keep going and don’t drop heads for 90, 95 minutes, you will always have a chance but I’m under no illusions, I’m expecting a really difficult game on Saturday and I will be emphasising that to the boys before the game,” explained Donaghey.
“Yes, we beat Ards but we can’t be getting ahead of ourselves because we are nowhere near where I want us to be and I guarantee you can get egg on your face very quickly in this league. You can actually lose three or four on the bounce in this league very quickly. Newry hadn’t lost a game and had only conceded three goals now have lost their last two.
“Queens will be looking at this as a chance to close the gap to us and grab three points. If that happens it closes up the whole bottom of the division. We have Queens and Knockbreda in the next two weeks and I think these games will be every bit as difficult at the Welders and Ards games.”
The Waterside men should welcome back Oran Brogan and Shaun Leppard for the trip to The Dub but Aaron McGurk and Cormac McGurk remain sidelined.
“Believe it or not, Queens are a very forward thinking team. They haven’t stopped trying to play football despite the results. They have a very, very good coach. Peter Thompson is one of the best coaches in the country. There are people in the game that I trust and they all speak so highly of Peter,” added Donaghey.
“I will be stressing that to the players. You’ve got one of the brightest coaches in the country with a bunch of lads who from what I’ve heard their camaraderie and everything about the place is as good as it has been. Remember this time last year Queen’s defeated Linfield and Glentoran in the Irish Cup so, listen, you can’t discard anyone.
“I have watched a lot of Queen’s games on videos and they’ve been well in every game they’ve played. To be honest, there’s so little to choose between any of the teams in this league, that’s the scary thing. Look at our result last week. At 4.45pm, Ards were going top of the table and five minutes later they’re third.
“Welders beat us the week before and I thought it was probably the best we’ve played but then they get hit for four by Loughgall who we defeated two weeks previous; the league is nuts! If you are not on your game week after week, then you will get found out.”
Institute have won three of their last four league games and victory on Saturday could take them into mid-table but Donaghey says they have plenty to work on.
“The boys have given me absolutely everything from the minute I walked in the door and you can’t asked of any more than that. If you get people at their maximum, you get results and build momentum. When you have people at their max you surprise a few people.
“I have to keep the boys level headed, keep them grounded and if they keep doing the hard work, keep doing what we are good at and have a good application to what we are trying to do, then we will be fine.”