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Gavin Peers out to get one over old boss Sean Connor

 

Looking up: Gavin Peers is determined to help Glentoran finish as high up the table as possible
Looking up: Gavin Peers is determined to help Glentoran finish as high up the table as possible

By Alex Mills

Rugged defender Gavin Peers has warned his former boss Sean Connor to expect no favours when Glentoran make the journey to the Brandywell to face Institute today.

Although the 33-year-old will warmly shake the hand of the manager who brought him to Sligo Rovers back in 2006, Peers insists his only concern will be taking three points to maintain the Glens' impressive winning run.

The east Belfast club are unbeaten in five games in all competitions and a victory in the north west would result in Mick McDermott's boys nudging ahead of cross-city rivals Linfield - who are in the middle of their two-legged Unite the Union Champions Cup clash with Dundalk - and Crusaders - who don't play until Monday night - in the Danske Bank Premiership.

"I know Sean well from past experiences," said Peers. "He actually signed me when I returned to Ireland from England. He brought me to Sligo Rovers from Mansfield Town.

"I was with him for a few years and he has always been in contact with me. I knew Sean would do well when he got back into management again.

"He has the knack of finding good players and he has a good work ethic. I think he'll do a good job up at Institute. Their results have certainly improved since he moved there."

Institute are unbeaten in three games. Their improved form has featured morale-boosting draws against Ballymena United, Larne and Crusaders.

"It's a big pitch at the Brandywell and that will hopefully suit us," added Peers. "We'll be going up there to sustain our winning run. Our aim is to finish as high up the league as possible. Our form has been pretty consistent. Our worst performance was at Dungannon Swifts back in August, but thankfully we haven't had many off-days like that. Since that defeat, we have kicked on a bit.

"If we are still on the tails of the leaders around January, then we'll re-evaluate where we are and perhaps set new goals.

"We are in good shape at the minute but there is always room for improvement. We could be scoring a few more goals and keeping a few more clean sheets, so we know we are far from the finished article.

"The most important thing is that we are winning games and that's all that matters."

The arrival of McDermott and his trusty assistant Paul Millar has certainly raised the expectation levels of the Glentoran faithful, who are again coming out in big numbers to support the team.

Peers said: "The signs were there towards the end of last season when Mick and Windy came in. We had the basis of a good squad and they brought in a few players over the summer. The new boys have certainly made a big impact.

"If we keep this form going, you never know where we could end up. The gaffer hasn't set us any targets, we take it game by game.

"It's a matter of trying to pick up as many points as we can and, if we are in and around the top four or five clubs in the table at Christmas and the New Year, then we'll assess the situation."

Peers bagged his first goal in a Glentoran shirt last weekend in the thumping 4-0 win away at Warrenpoint Town.

"I was credited with a goal earlier in the season at The Oval against Institute, but I couldn't really claim it because the ball clearly came off the head of one of their defenders," he admitted.

"But there was no doubting the one against Warrenpoint. It was a great win for us.

"We probably should have had more goals, especially scoring four in the first half. When that happens, it is sometimes difficult to keep the momentum going.

"The reality is we must be more ruthless in situations like that. I'm sure that will come as the games keep coming thick and fast. But we got four goals and a clean sheet, so you can't argue with that."

Institute vs Glentoran

Danske Bank Premiership

The Brandywell, Today, 3pm

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