Belfast Telegraph

Connor targeting big results from Institute against relegation rivals

Massive month: Institute manager Sean Connor
Massive month: Institute manager Sean Connor

By Alex Mills

Manager Sean Connor insists December could be a big month for his Institute battlers.

The north west boys may be hovering only three points above the basement slot in the Danske Bank Premiership table, but shrewd Connor believes a lot could happen over the next three weeks.

Having previously picked up points against a posse of the League's big hitters, including Coleraine, Larne, Glentoran and Crusaders, Connor is now targeting teams in the bottom six - and Gary Hamilton's erratic Glenavon, who are due to visit the Brandywell today, come into that category.

There will also be a tinge of revenge on the agenda because when the teams last met at Mourneview Park late last month, it was the Lurgan Blues who triumphed 3-1.

"We were beaten by Carrick Rangers last week, but I wasn't entirely disappointed with the performance," said Connor. "We were right in the game, trailing 1-0, but lost our momentum when an 82nd minute penalty kick was awarded against us.

"In saying that, we probably didn't play to our potential, but the 3-0 score wasn't a true reflection of the game. We've picked up good, and probably unexpected points, against some of the top six teams.

"We now must target teams in and around us in the league table, so December will be a massive month for us because we have Glenavon up first, before we play Dungannon Swifts, Warrenpoint Town and Carrick Rangers again.

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"Those games will be all six-pointers for both sides.

"For me, the team have come a long way in the 12 weeks I've been in charge. It's a relatively young group of players still learning to deal with the pressure of playing at this level.

"If anything, because of the good results, the expectation levels have been raised."

However, Connor is today without Joe McCready, Dean Curry and Conor Tourish, all suspended, and Evan Tweed, Niall Grace and Aidan McCauley are injury doubts.

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