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Stute happy to embrace the deadly Heatley, Owens challenge

 

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Institute boss Paddy McLaughlin

Institute boss Paddy McLaughlin

Institute boss Paddy McLaughlin

Institute will relish the challenge of trying to stop Crusaders goal machines Jordan Owens and Paul Heatley at Seaview today, according to manager Paddy McLaughlin.

After an inconsistent opening to the campaign, the Crues now look to be firing on all cylinders with the brilliant Owens and Heatley hitting the target on a regular basis.

Last weekend the deadly duo netted stunning goals in a 3-0 home success over Glenavon as Stephen Baxter's side claimed a fourth victory in succession.

"We are going to the home of the champions and it will be tough," admitted McLaughlin.

"They began the season in stop-start fashion but they have shown over the last few weeks what they are all about.

"Jordan Owens and Paul Heatley are in great form and we know it will be difficult, yet we have to embrace the challenge and look forward to it.

"I always knew that Crusaders would come good. You don't win the league one season and become a bad side the next. Even the best teams can go through a sticky few weeks and then it's about character, and they have displayed that. They are definitely back in the mix."

Institute have impressed in the top flight this season but are experiencing their first run of defeats, having lost four in a row, including three in the league.

"We played Coleraine, Dungannon - where we felt the defeat was a harsh because a big penalty decision went against us - and then Linfield. Now we have Crusaders, so it's a tough run of games but this is why we worked so hard last season to get promoted.

"We want to play against the best teams and the best players in the country," says McLaughlin, who along with assistant Brian Donaghy will sit in the stands today due to suspension after words with referee Keith Kennedy after the loss to Dungannon.

"The boys haven't let their heads go down, and they understand we are underdogs every week we play, but they enjoy the challenge and are determined to get points back on the board as soon as possible."

Belfast Telegraph