Belfast Telegraph

Institute are fired up and won't get caught cold again, maintains Sean Connor

 

his boys are raring to go
his boys are raring to go

By Alex Mills

Sean Connor insists motivation will not be an issue when fast-improving Institute go head-to-head with Danske Bank Premiership table-toppers Coleraine at the Brandywell today (1pm).

Even though they lost at Glenavon in midweek, the north west side have already proved they can match any of the league's top guns by taking points off Crusaders, Ballymena United, Larne and Glentoran.

Manager Connor may have one eye on Tuesday's League Cup semi-final clash at Crusaders, but he admits that three points are top of his wishlist against Oran Kearney's boys, who have tasted defeat only once this season.

"Yes, I was disappointed with our first-half performance at Glenavon, but we showed what we are about after the break," said Connor. "Before Glenavon scored their goals, we had two opportunities of our own. Normally Joe McCready would put away the chance he got. In saying that, they were clinical.

"We never really got a chance to test their belief or see how their confidence was because they scored two goals quickly.

"We changed a few things during the interval and, after that, I thought we were great. The boys certainly put in a better shift."

O'Connor has promised that his boys will be raring to go when the league leaders make the journey to the Maiden City.

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"It was easy to get them up for this one because the players know they didn't do themselves justice in the opening 45 minutes at Mourneview," he said. "Taking into account the heavy schedule at this time, we tweaked a few things for the Glenavon game.

"Unfortunately, we didn't show up for the first half - no tempo, no energy. That's not what we are about.

"We can't afford to let that happen against Coleraine because we'll again be punished.

"They don't come much tougher than Coleraine - they've been flying this season. It's a local derby, so it will be easy to motivate the players.

"Hopefully, the result at Glenavon will chastise our boys a bit - perhaps it will be a bit of a wake-up call.

"I've no doubt that they will be ready to go again on Saturday afternoon.

"The games are coming thick and fast. We've come off a really difficult run of games, including Ballymena, Crusaders, Linfield, Glentoran, Larne, Glenavon and now Coleraine - it's been a tough run.

"And, even though we've picked up points here and there, we still haven't played any of the teams that I think we'll be involved with in a battle at the bottom of the table.

"It's in those matches we'll need to start turning draws into wins."

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