Pressure is affecting team, says Institute manager Paul Kee

Institute manager Paul Kee
Institute manager Paul Kee has been trying to instil confidence into his side

Institute manager Paul Kee admits the pressure of being at the bottom of the Premiership table is proving "a bit much" for some of his young players.

Relegation-threatened 'Stute are four points adrift of Warrenpoint Town with seven sets of fixtures remaining.

"There's a mindset in the changing room right now which we have to try to lift.

"There's a spring about the lads in training. I can't fault the effort but some are having their first experience in the top flight," said Kee.

The Drumahoe club has endured a dismal run of 18 league games without a win, picking up just five points in the process, and their last Premiership victory was against Warrenpoint Town on 17 October last year.

"Winning becomes a habit and so does losing. Games are running out for us to pick up points," added the Institute boss ahead of his side's game at home to Linfield.

"Gaining experience and understanding the demands of the Premiership is something we've been trying to instil in the players over the last six months.

"We just have to try and pick up as many points as we can, particularly against the sides just above us in the table."

The Londonderry club have Dean Curry, Aaron Walsh, Mark Forker and Darren McFadden all available again.

Linfield are six points behind leaders Crusaders at the top and Blues' manager Warren Feeney has urged his players to "play with a smile on our face, try to keep winning games and see where it takes us".

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter's Crusaders face five consecutive away games in the league

The Crues have Colin Coates and Paul Heatley back in their ranks for the trip to Ballymena, but defender Josh Robinson is suspended.

"Ballymena is never an easy place to go. But it doesn't matter who we play now, we just have to get the job done," stated Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter.

Sky Blues' boss Glenn Ferguson has Johnny Taylor and Gary Thompson serving bans and is demanding an improvement in performance following last week's 1-0 defeat by Dungannon Swifts.

"If players don't keep themselves motivated in the league, they won't play in the Irish Cup semi-final (against Portadown next week). We have to keep up momentum, we can't turn it on one week and then off the next."

Meanwhile Glenavon coach Nigel Law has indicated that the Lurgan Blues will "introduce a few younger guys into the squad between now and the end of the season" ahead of his side's trip to north Belfast to face Cliftonville.

"We'll go to Solitude with the aim of playing open, attacking, aggressive football and see if we can nick something," added Law.

The Reds have strike duo Joe Gormley and David McDaid back after suspension.

Warrenpoint Town have influential defenders Mark Hughes and Dermot McVeigh suspended for their game against Coleraine at Milltown, while Stephen McCabe is an injury doubt.

Portadown are missing suspended pair Keith O'Hara and Darren Murray as they continue their bid to secure a European place with a derby game against Dungannon Swifts at Shamrock Park.

Danske Bank Premiership fixtures - Saturday 14 March - 15:00 GMT kick-offs

Ballymena Utd v Crusaders

Cliftonville v Glenavon

Institute v Linfield

Portadown v Dungannon Swifts

Warrenpoint Town v Coleraine

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