Belfast Telegraph

Shields set for first Institute start

By Colin Speer

Institute manager John Gregg may give deadline day signing Tony Shields his debut tomorrow when Ballymena United visit Drumahoe.

The midfielder played 60 minutes during Wednesday night’s reserve match at against Linfield Swifts which pleased his new boss.

“Tony got 60 minutes under his belt and considering he hasn’t played for a number of months he looked very sharp,” admitted Gregg.

“I have been after him for a while and I have to admit that the deal was right down to the wire but thankfully we got it done.

“Although he isn’t old I believe his experience of playing at the highest level both here and the League of Ireland will benefit us. He also played with Peterborough United for a number of years, so he’s a top player.”

Institute suffered their second defeat in three days on Tuesday evening at league leaders Cliftonville, but Gregg believes their midweek display was a massive improvement from last Saturday’s defeat at Solitude.

“I got the reaction I was looking for on Tuesday night, obviously it was disappointing to lose again, but we competed and to be honest had a few chances to go in front. But that match is now gone and I told the players after Tuesday night’s game that we need to carry that performance into this game against Ballymena, which, like every match for us, is another big match.”

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