Saturday 12th January 2019, Kick off 3.00pm.
A month ago we made our first league visit to the Brandywell for nearly 47 years. Five weeks later and we’re back. The term “six pointer” is severely overused but in this case it’s totally appropriate with Institute eight points and one place ahead of us (though we have a game in hand). A win on Saturday is essential if we’re to both stop our current long winless run and to start looking to climb back up the table.
An encouraging fact is that we are unbeaten by Institute this season. Last month we criminally threw away the lead on three different occasions as John Herron and Robbie McDaid (2) goals were cancelled out by equalisers from a Dylan Davidson own goal and from the in form Michael McCrudden and a great late strike from Joe McCready. Our defending was the issue that day in December as we rarely looked comfortable with our leads. We won our home meeting in September 2-1 through goals from Ross Redman and Willie Garrett.
Assistant Manager Paul Leeman said after training on Thursday night: “The players have responded well to us in training after the very sudden change after Ronnie’s resignation. We can take some positives from last week at Seaview in that the team set up well, kept their shape before the injury to John Herron forced us to change things and fought back quickly to equalise with Lukasz’ debut goal. But the bottom line is that it’s all about results and we’re out of the cup. Again it was unnecessary individual mistakes that led to some of Crusaders’ goals and we simply have to fix that. We’ve been working on that with the players and we’ll work on it until it’s fully fixed.
Institute have probably been a surprise package over the past few weeks. They’re a good team who play good football and obviously Michael McCrudden has been on fire recently. The last time we played was a great match. We scored three very good goals but they didn’t let us build on it and fought back with two great goals and an OG. This is a massive game for us as we need to start winning matches to get ourselves moving.
This week Marcus Kane is still out for the last of his three match suspension while John Herron is ruled out after getting a head knock at Seaview last week. That’s tough on us because we haven’t a lot of strength in depth. But Robbie McDaid – who was great last month at the Brandywell – trained well tonight and he’s ready to go after his suspension. We’re well up for this match and also we’re still looking at ways to strengthen the squad during this window.”
Travel Advice to Brandywell Stadium:
Travelling Glentoran fans should make their way to stadium via the lower deck of the Craigavon Bridge then turn left on the Foyle Road. Keep going for just under a mile until you come to a roundabout. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Lone Moor Road. The stadium is around 50 yards alone the Lone Moor road. There is no need for police to escort fans into the ground. Institute officials will be monitoring the route in. However the police may stop buses on route to check for alcohol and visible flags on bus windows. Institute recommend that travelling supporters use the main car park at the stadium. The car park is stewarded and holds around 200 cars so there will be plenty of space. Bus parking will be clearly identified.