Institute manager Paddy McLaughlin has a few players on the treatment table going into Saturday’s Brandywell clash against Coleraine.
Goalkeeper Marty Gallagher and Aaron Harkin are both struggling with the flu, while Jamie Dunne, Jamie McIntyre and Jake Morrow are all missing with injuries.
Both Gallagher and Harkin missed Tuesday night’s Bet McLean League Cup loss at Linfield, while Dunne picked up an ankle problem in that tie at Windsor Park.
“Jamie Dunne is out, as is Jamie McIntyre, with a knee injury, while Marty and Aaron have be dying with the flu so they are doubtful,” he insisted.
“Ray (Kelly) came in and while it was unfortunate to concede five goals at Linfield, fair play to him as he was fired in at the deep end and he made two or three top saves, so if Marty is missing, it’s another opportunity for him.
“So yes we are down bodies, but that’s why we built a squad. We worked hard building a squad over pre-season and now it gives someone a chance to come in.”
While Rodney McAree’s side have struggled in recent weeks, McLaughlin knows all about their strengths and believes they will find last season’s form sooner rather than later.
“Coleraine came within a kick of the ball from winning the league title and it’s the same squad of players, so they have the quality,” he said.
“Every team goes through a bad spell during the season and Coleraine are obviously going through there’s at the minute, but they will snap out of it as they have enough quality in their squad.
“They have enough quality in their ranks to beat any team in the division, so there’s no doubt that so we have to be aware of that. People can write Coleraine off at their peril, but we definitely won’t be doing that.
“We need to be on top of our game and like most games we play, we’ll go into as underdogs, so no matter what type of form Coleraine is in, we have to be at our best to come away with anything and that’s the challenge that faces us and it’s a challenge that we are looking forward to take on.”
As for Bannsiders skipper Stephen O’Donnell he knows it’s going to be a tough game agianst his old club.
“It will be a difficult game for us and one that we won’t be taking lightly,” insisted the captain.
“They came to the Showgrounds earlier in the year and to be fair to them they were brilliant that night, so going by that and going by their recent form in the league they are going really well and yes we go to the Brandywell with full of respect for them, but we’ll focus on ourselves as we need three points and hopefully we can turn up and get the win.”