Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Loughgall need a break, says Gregg

Institute manager John Gregg has criticised the Irish FA for forcing Championship challengers Loughgall to play five league games in under a fortnight plus the WKD Intermediate Cup final with DC at New Grosvenor on Monday night.

After finishing bottom of the Premierhip table Stute's senior status hangs by a thread.

The only way they will stay up is if Donegal Celtic finish runners-up in the Championship chase, forcing a promotion-relegation play off with the North West club. A DC title success would send Institute down.

But Gregg (pictured) is angry that the IFA has permitted a Quadrangular International Series to be played at the most important stage of the season in which Loughgall have five players involved.

“It is not making it easy for Loughgall in the Championship,” says Gregg whose side's 1-1 draw with Coleraine on Friday night left them bottom after a relegation dogfight with Lisburn Distillery in recent weeks.

“The IFA have rules but seem to make them more difficult to uphold. It is crazy that a team challenging for a league have to play their most important matches all at once.

“We now need help from Loughgall if we are to have a chance of staying up but it won’t be easy for them.”

Institute were relegated four seasons back but bounced back to the top flight the following season. Gregg adds: “I'm disappointed at finishing bottom because I have had honest endeavour from most of my players.

“This club has worked hard to maintain senior football but now we are faced with the prospect of relegation.

“I like to think I know all about football as a manager but I am still learning the game and it is impossible to predict the unpredictable.

“What happens next is not within our control and that is frustrating.

“We lost flair players in January when the bad weather contrived to disrupt our games and that is when I think we lost our form.”

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