Institute boss Paul Kee admits his team must stifle the threat of Cliftonville’s Joe Gormley and Davy McDaid if they are to leave Solitude with any degree of satisfaction tomorrow.
The North West club haven’t won in 20 starts and remain rooted at the bottom of the Danske Premiership table, four points adrift of 11th placed Warrenpoint Town.
With only six games remaining, Kee knows his team are rapidly running out of options if they are to sustain their top flight status.
This is Institute’s final match against a ‘top six’ team. After that, it is basically a sudden death scenario, with relegation more of a probability rather than a possibility.
“Gormley and McDaid did all the damage when we last met them,” declared Kee. “Believe it or not we were well in contention at that time. I thought we did well, but they were the difference. It finished 4-0 to the Reds, but it was the performance of both Gormley and McDaid that turned it for them.
“I know McDaid is playing his way back after a big suspension, but he has a great understanding with Gormley and I’m sure they’ll be back together again against us.
“Gormley is a player we have to watch. If we don’t we could end up with egg on our face. You’ll maybe not see him for an hour, but then he can pop up to score. That’s what the top teams have and that’s what we maybe have missed this year.
“McDaid played against our reserve team at the weekend and he looked very sharp.”
Kee adds Cliftonville’s excellent synthetic playing surfaces suits his team’s style.
“We are generally good on 3G pitches, we have no problems with that,” he adds. “It allows you get the ball down an pass it well.
“Cliftonville have had a few disappointing results, but they are still a force – a very experienced team and they’ll be wanting to finish the season as high up the table as possible.
“I know they have been experimenting in their last couple of games by bringing in some of their younger players, but it’s still going to be a massive task for us, especially in our current position.
“However, it’s a game we have to go and try to win, give it our best and try to get within touching distance of Warrenpoint Town.”
Darren McFadden returns to the Institute squad. He missed his team’s last outing at home to Linfield due to a bout of flu.