Institute fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Ballinamallard at the Brandywell in December.
Institute vs. Ballinamallard - Ryan McBride Brandywell - Saturday, 3pm
Institute head into this weekend’s game against Ballinamallard hoping to find the net for the sixth consecutive league game this season, by far their best scoring run on the 2021/22 season.
Brian Donaghey’s side have been showing glimpses of improvement with every passing week, even as results continue to go against them but the ability to find the net more often is evident and a huge boost with just 10 league games remaining.
“It's something we have lacked”, Donaghey admitted. “We’re the second lowest goal scorers in the league which tells its own story, but when you add Ian Parkhill and Gareth Brown and Liam Walsh who came back after six weeks out.
“We also have Jamie Dunne and Benny came back last week so we have a lot of options there now. It’s more like a squad and more like competition for places which I would have sought when I came in. I just had to bide my time but we’ve tried to put it right and I think the squad has a lot more depth, strength and experience.”
‘Stute have failed to beat Ballinamallard in three attempts in league and cup this season, and Donaghey knows his team are again underdogs against a team pushing for promotion.
“They have done a great job of strengthening the squad in the window and they are definitely going to be there or thereabouts when it comes to the play-off positions,” he said.
“Harry has a very accomplished team there with nearly two players for every position but it has taken him five or six years to get that right. This project for me is in its infancy but we’re definitely gathering a bit of pace and our quad is definitely healthier than it was four or five weeks ago.”
Having pushed Loughgall all the way and claim a point against Ards last week however, Donaghey maintains that if his team can perform, they can get a result against any team in the division, a feeling most managers in the division empathise with.
“All the managers are saying the same thing – it’s just the toss of a coin in every single game, but you just have to be at it every single week,” he explained.
“The lads are putting their bodies on the line for us and hopefully it will pay dividends in the next few weeks.”
“There’s 10 to go and every game is a cup final now and we have to pick up as many points as we can. Next week we go to Dundela who are probably the form team in the league. After that we have three games before the split; it will go in with the blink of an eye.
“Our performances have improved; I thought we deserved something against Loughgall and at least a point against Ards. It would have been a massive three points, but we don’t fear anyone anymore.”
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