Institute’s Paul Brown believes his team mates will have to develop last season’s mentality if they are to come through the next few weeks unscathed.
The Drumahoe club have failed to hit the heights they achieved in the 2008/09 season and are struggling badly near the foot of the table with only two wins from 15 games.
That record would read much worse had Brown not saved them a point against Portadown with a late penalty in Saturday’s vital league fixture.
Portadown had taken a first half lead with a penalty from Gary McCutcheon and looked to be cruising to a comfortable victory until Brown’s strike just six minutes from time.
And the goal scorer admitted that his team are just not performing at present.
He commented: “I think overall it was a fair result. We started very well in the first half and I think the penalty decision was a bit harsh. But those decisions have been going against us all year and for us to get one, I think was overdue.
“I also think we could have had a penalty in the first half when Kevin (Ramsey) was brought down but sometimes these decisions go against you.
“We’re happy with the point but to be honest we’re not happy with the performance.
“Last year we were harder to beat and we know ourselves we have to get better and make it harder for teams to beat us.”
Institute will certainly need to dig seep if they are to survive the next month with extremely difficult trips to Linfield, Crusaders and Cliftonville on the horizon, as well as a home game against Ballymena United and a Northwest derby against Coleraine.
And Brown admitted that ‘Stute cannot wait any longer to start producing the type of performance that almost won them a top six finish last season.
He added: “It was very important that we didn’t lose against Portadown but again we’ve played in patches, which isn’t good enough. We have to play for 90 minutes.
“There’s definitely a bit to go for us and it is only us who can do it. We just have to work well together the way we did last year and if we can do that, we’ll be alright in the end.
“Every fixture is like a cup match.
“Every team lifts themselves for a cup match but we have to learn to do it in the league because every league match here is so important and we have to fight for every point.”