Belfast Telegraph

Stute soaking up praise but will be wary of Gormley's prowess

 

By Steven Beacom

Ask any opposing manager or player in the Irish League about Institute and most will answer that they play fantastic football.

Manager Paddy McLaughlin enjoys the rave reviews but only if results go with them.

Institute's last two have been 3-3 draws against Glenavon and Glentoran. Prior to that, they had lost four league games in a row.

He is relishing the challenge of facing in-form Cliftonville at the Brandywell today.

Barry Gray's Reds are now just seven points behind table toppers Ballymena after three league wins in succession in which they have netted 12 times.

Ace marksman Joe Gormley has scored just about everywhere in the country and will no doubt savour the chance to do the same at the Brandywell.

"How do you stop someone like Joe Gormley who scores 30 to 40 goals per season?" asked McLaughlin. "He is a top class finisher. Joe's not the only threat and it will be up to us to defend really well as a team and take our chances when they come."

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Having gained promotion to the top flight, McLaughlin could have been forgiven for adopting a more pragmatic approach but he has continued with an easy on the eye passing style.

"It's been really good to hear a lot of people say nice things about the way we play but ultimately our aim is to get the results that will keep us in the division," McLaughlin said.

"We aren't here to entertain and lose games. We want to pick up points on a consistent basis."

They will be helped by top scorer and captain Michael McCrudden remaining at the club.

McLaughlin says there has been a host of enquiries about the striker. "There has been a lot of interest in Michael but we have told him that he is staying with us until the end of the season and he is happy to be at Institute," McLaughlin said.

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