Belfast Telegraph

Larne aiming for a win but 'Stute pose major threat: Lynch

Tough match: Larne boss Tiernan Lynch respects
Institute
Tough match: Larne boss Tiernan Lynch respects Institute

By Alex Mills

Larne boss Tiernan Lynch doesn't buy into the theory that a visit to the Brandywell to face Institute today gives his boys the perfect platform to bounce back after last weekend's defeat.

The Danske Bank Premiership new boys were narrowly edged out by a resurgent Glentoran side, even though Lynch was 'thrilled' with his team's second half performance.

It was only their second defeat of the campaign, but Larne's exciting, free flowing brand of football would suggest they'll be a match for most teams.

In contrast, opponents Institute can't buy a win. The season began badly for the north west club when manager John Quigg handed in his resignation only seven days before the start of the league campaign - and things have steadily got worse.

Institute have picked up merely one point from six starts and are only spared the embarrassment of dropping to the bottom of the pile because of the horrible form of Warrenpoint Town.

Nevertheless, Lynch will take nothing for granted when he boards the team bus this morning - the game has a 2pm kick-off.

"I don't buy into the theme that it's a banker for us," he said.

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"I think that any team in this league, on their day, are capable of beating any other side.

"This is a tough, tough league. There is no room for error. The fine margins are the difference in winning and losing.

"What we got away with in the Championship last season, we don't get away with in this environment, so we need to get better at that.

"It's still very early (in the campaign), and we are still in a good place. It would be worse if we were being turned over in games. I'd be scratching my head and wondering where do we go next? But it's quite the opposite.

"We'll certainly be going to Institute looking for a win, but we'll be giving them all the respect they deserve."

Lynch admits it was difficult to criticise his boys, especially after the performance they put in at The Oval, where Marcus Kane nicked a late winner for the Glens.

"I was gutted to leave (The Oval) empty handed because we deserved more. We were superb in the second half," he said.

"It's difficult to criticise that second half performance."

Lynch also made a surprise, but shrewd, tactical switch after the restart, replacing midfield maestro Mark Randall and ace predator Johnny McMurray with Marty Donnelly and new signing Conor McKendry.

He added: "Leading into the game, Mark was struggling with a hip injury while Johnny was being hampered by a toe injury, it may even be broken.

"I felt we needed to change things slightly to give us a little bit more space on the pitch and take advantage of certain areas, and I think we did that.

"Mark is a quality player. It's unfortunate he wasn't firing on all cylinders against Glentoran because we didn't see the best of him. He'll get fitter and stronger as he grows into this league."

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