Belfast Telegraph

We can go one better this season, insists Institute's Darren McCauley

By Keith Bailie

Institute midfielder Darren McCauley believes his side can push for promotion this season.

McCauley, who is widely regarded as one of the best players in the Belfast Telegraph Championship, joined Stute after spells at Derry City and Coleraine. McCauley has helped the Drumahoe side to two third placed finishes, while this season they once again find themselves in third spot, just behind the east Belfast duo Dundela and Harland & Wolff Welders.

The former Derry City man said: “We've finished third twice in a row now, so obviously our aim is to go one better this season.

“Our aim is promotion and I honestly believe that we can achieve that. It's a difficult division to win but I think we're as good as anybody.”

Under the guidance of Paul Kee Institute have become renowned for their attractive brand of passing football. McCauley believes that if Stute can add a degree of mental toughness to their game, they can be match for anyone.

“I think we're as good a passing team as anyone in the country, but we need to work on the other side of our game. We've got to have the right mentality if we are to challenge for promotion.”

Institute could climb to the top of the table on Saturday if they beat Donegal Celtic and neither Dundela nor Harland & Wolff Welders win their games.

McCauley hasn't given the game against Donegal Celtic too much thought. He believes that Institute just need to focus on their own performance.

“I know everybody says this, but we just have to take each game as it comes.

“I've not given Donegal Celtic much thought. To be honest, I never really think about the opposition – it doesn't matter if it's Carrick Rangers or Limavady United – I just focus on my own game.

“I think we just need to focus on what we're doing. If we look after ourselves and play to the best of our ability I'm confident we can give anybody a game.”

League leaders Dundela have a tough game against Carrick Rangers at Wilgar Park. The match will be Carrick's first game since Michael Hughes stepped down as manager, to be replaced by Gary Haveron.

Second -placed Harland & Wolff Welders will expect to beat Loughgall at Tillysburn, while Lisburn Distillery travel to Hagan Park to play Coagh United.

Elsewhere, Ballyclare Comrades host Dergview and Limavady United play Larne, in two games that could influence the bottom of the table.

The day's big game see Bangor welcome Knockbreda to a refurbished Clandeboye Park, as the Seasiders christen their new 3G surface. You can find out how Bangor got on in Monday's edition of The Park Online. 

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