Institute manager Paul Kee pleased with start to league campaign

Cliftonvile's Tommy Breslin
Cliftonvile's Tommy Breslin

Paul Kee admits he is delighted with his team’s start to their Danske Bank Premiership venture, but believes the acid test comes when title holders Cliftonville visit Drumahoe.

Institute grabbed a draw at Dungannon before sealing a fine midweek win over neighbour Coleraine.

Kee now want his boys to raise the bar even further.

“I really pleased with the start we’ve made,” he said.

“It’s down to seven weeks of hard training and 12 months of planning last season.

“My biggest problem is getting the players to believe in themselves.

“In all honesty, we probably played Coleraine at the best possible time as they recently lost Davy McDaid and of course they transferred Stephen Lowry to Linfield over the summer.

“There are big questions going to be asked of my side over the next few weeks as we face Cliftonville and then Linfield in back to back matches.

“We’ll be underdogs in both – few will expect us to get anything from either match, but if anything that gives us an even bigger incentive.

“We’ve come into this league without a great deal of media attention and that suits us. We’ll remain under the radar and anything we get is a bonus.

“I’ve been round the block a few times in terms of Irish League football and I keep telling the boys to make the most of it – enjoy it while you can. I can honestly say we are all up for the challenge.”

Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin, buoyed by his team’s win over Portadown in midweek, acknowledges that Institute have ‘nothing to lose’.

The champions earned a 1-0 win at Shamnrock on Wednesday night – following their opening day stalemate with Glentoran last weekend.

“They can play without fear, being the rookie side in the league, but that tends to be a banana skin on occasions,” said Breslin.

“We’re certainly expecting no favours.

“We never got it easy at Drumahoe the last time they were in the league and I’m sure it will be the same this time.

“We’ll certainly give them the respect they deserve. They’ve already pocketed four points from the two games they’ve played, so it proves they are a capable team.”

Breslin insists he will concentrate on his own side’s strengths going into tomorrow’s trip to Drumahoe.

“But we must focus on what we must do to win the game. We got our first win of the campaign in midweek and now we must push on,” he added.

“Portadown is never an easy place to go, but I thought we played really well.

“In saying that, I always thought we needed the second goal to give us a bit of breathing space.

“But we move on now, and we have another difficult trip on the cards on Saturday.

“It is great seeing Institute back in the Premiership, but we know it will be a veryu difficult test for us.”