Saturday 9th November 2019, Kick Off 3.00 pm
On Saturday we head to the Brandywell for the first time this season to play Institute.
Our Two visits to the Maiden City last season were both cracking games. The first, in December, saw a late Joe McCreadie equaliser leave the result 3-3 after Institute had equalised when John Herron and Robbie McDaid (twice) had given us the lead on three separate occasions. The following month we had a 2-0 win through two landmark goals – Elliott Morris first in his 723rd appearance for the club, and Paul O’Neill’s first goal for the first team. In September we had a pretty straightforward 4-0 win at the Oval through goals from Gavin Peers, Hrvoje Plum, Robbie McDaid and debutant Antonio Duric.
Institute are currently 11th in the table, nineteen points behind us with only one win so far this season, against bottom placed Warrenpoint at the end of September. However, in the past month they’ve had impressive draws against Ballymena, Larne and Crusaders so clearly their defence has been strong against three solid teams.
Kevin McLaughlin, football writer for the Derry Journal and the Londonderry Sentinel, shared his thoughts on Saturday’s game with www.glentoran.com : “Institute manager Sean Connor is relishing their home encounter against Glentoran, on Saturday. Since his appointment Connor has made Stute a lot more solid, but he's expecting another tough encounter against the Glens: ‘They are probably one of the best footballing sides we are going to come up against this year. Mick has them playing really good football, they seem to be working so hard off the ball, working for each other and they have got quality players all over the pitch that can hurt you on one-on-one situations. So, it’s going to be a really difficult game, but we are going into the game off the back of a three-game unbeaten run. We have a good bit of confidence and we aren’t shipping lots of goals that we were earlier on in the season, so we have to go into this game as positive as we can’. Unfortunately, the Londonderry men will be without trio Caoimhin Bonner, Cormac Burke and Stephen Curry through injury”.
Mick McDermott: “Last week at Warrenpoint I thought we put in a great performance over the whole ninety minutes. We got the game safely won in the first half and that allowed us to give game time to a few lads – Antonio and Mal – who deserve it but haven’t had much of a chance as we’ve been doing well in their positions. We controlled the game throughout with excellent pace, tempo, work rate and quality and thoroughly deserved the win.
At Institute on Saturday we’ll be facing broadly the same players we beat in September, but not the same team. Sean has them very well organised and they defend exceptionally well, as they’ve shown over the past few weeks. They’ll do that again on Saturday so that means we need to be clinical and to take whatever chances we create. It’s another massive game for us as we continue towards our climb, so we’ll take the match and Institute very seriously.
On the player front, all the usual squad is available. Calum Birney has trained very well for a couple of weeks and will play for the seconds this weekend, which is encouraging. Curtis had a bit of a setback a couple of weeks ago but is working hard towards his full recovery. We’re really looking forward to having both lads available for selection.”