Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson admits he is not confident of adding to his squad in January.
With Mark Clarke and John McGuigan having made their exit, funds are still tight at the East Belfast club.
Patterson will again rely on his exciting crop of young guns, that were unlucky to lose the big Boxing Day Premiership clash with rivals Linfield, when Institute make the journey to the Oval today.
“I would like to bring in one or two experienced heads, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” said Patterson.
“We have been talking to a couple of players. Whether it materialises in January or the end of the season, we’ll have to wait and see.
“Mark Clarke will be going to Ards and John McGuigan will be going to Warrenpoint Town – both on loan to the end of the season.
“That will free up some money. But whether it will let us operate next month or not I just don’t know.”
Patterson was delighted with his team’s performance, not only against the Blues but also in their previous game when beating champions Cliftonville.
“I am delighted with our work rate,” he added “The boys are now starting to play the football we want – we have been coaching them week in week out.
“We are not far off. We’ve gone to Windsor Park on two occasions and we never let ourselves down. We recently defeated Cliftonville. The only team who have turned us over this season, in a football sense, is Crusaders.
“What we are trying to do is boost the players’ confidence and belief. They all play as individuals, but we want them to have that belief in each other.
“I’ve told the boys we now have two massive games in the form of Institute and Warrenpoint Town. They will be tough matches, but we must put in the same work rate and effort we have shown against Linfield and Cliftonville in recent games.
“Our lads have shown what they are capable of. It’s now all about doing it on a consistent basis.”
Patterson initial target is a top six finish in the league, but hasn’t ruled out something better.
He added: “We are targeting a top six place. Once that is achieved, we’ll re-evaluate.
“If we finish six, we’ll then target the team above us. If we finish fifth, we’ll then target fourth place. With the age of the squad and the inexperience in the squad, we’ll target a top six finish.”