Belfast Telegraph

Connor takes Institute to Mourneview with no fear of Glenavon

Glenavon v Institute, Danske Bank Premiership, Mournview Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

Good test: Sean Connor relishes Glenavon challenge
Good test: Sean Connor relishes Glenavon challenge

By Billy Weir

Institute boss Sean Connor feels that tonight's opponents, Glenavon, are in a false position in the Danske Bank Premiership table.

Friday night's win over champions Linfield was just the fourth of the campaign for Gary Hamilton's men who sit ninth in the table, just two spots above Institute.

Under Connor, the men from the north-west have become much more solid, as was shown again at the weekend when they took a share of the spoils at Ballymena United.

"We're working hard, we've got a good bit of substance to us. The defeats, two to Linfield and two to Cliftonville, you can almost accept them," said Connor.

"We've come here to put a wee bit of substance. I think in the past I had an image of Institute playing pretty football and quite happy to get beaten.

"I don't like getting beaten, so we needed to stop that and that's what we're trying to do.

"I think it's important we carry that form, tempo and energy into when we play the teams around us because we haven't played any of the bottom six for the last five or six games.

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"Tuesday night brings that, and brings a bit of added pressure, but, to be honest with you, I think Glenavon are in a false position.

"They are a big club and have a big squad. They worked hard (against Linfield) but we will go there with no fear."

Striker Joe McCready, who scored from the spot in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Warden Street, is relishing a shot at Glenavon.

"We can't wait for the Glenavon match, to be honest," he said.

"We have been looking forward to it for a while and for some reason all the boys just look forward to a night game under the lights.

"But we know they did well on Friday night. Although I didn't see the game myself, I watched the highlights and I know they have done well.

"For all our hard work, we just need to turn a match into a win. The manager keeps telling us that we need to start turning these draws into three points and I think that's down to myself, Browner (Gareth Brown) or Gracer (Niall Grace) coming from midfield or somebody to try and just go that step further to try and get those three points.

"Hopefully we can go that step further on Tuesday night, because that's exactly what we'll be trying to do, as we'll be going all out at Glenavon.

"One win might kick start us, because since Sean has come in he has stabled us up at the back.

"We know that we are good now at defending, before we were conceding far too many goals, but we know now that we are all defending better, and I feel if we can just get one or two ahead I think we'll see games out easily, and hopefully we can do that on Tuesday night."

And while 'Stute are five points from safety, Connor insists that isn't causing him sleepless nights.

"I am not focused on the table at all and I think it's because I'm an experienced manager and I've learned not to panic about things I can't control," he says.

"All I can control is our level of performance and the team we are playing next week, and if we do that and do it well enough, then the table will take care of itself. I think we'll end up in the position we deserve."

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