DFC | Kenny calls on Dundalk FC supporters to rally around his side

Lilywhites face Bohemians at Oriel Park on Friday night

Dundalk FC fans pictured at the 3–1 defeat to Bray Wanderers on Good Friday. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has called on the club’s supporters to rally around his side for Friday night’s visit of Bohemians to Oriel Park.

The Lilywhites are nine points behind league leaders Cork City following the 3–1 defeat to Bray Wanderers on Good Friday and Kenny is hoping that result doesn’t affect this week’s attendance.

“We need the supporters to stay with it,” he said. “They need to take a step back and get behind the team.
“We don’t want to see numbers drop off at Oriel Park because we have lost a few games. We need people to get behind the team in a major way.”

In what seems to be a recurring theme of the season thus far, Dundalk have injury concerns over a number of players for Friday night’s game.

Paddy Barrett is a doubt after going off in the EA Sports Cup tie with UCD with a thigh injury while Niclas Vemmelund — who sat the game out — is carrying a knock.

“We’ll have to see how Niclas is,” said the Lilywhites boss. “He’s a really good player and I thought he was excellent in the match against Limerick as the left sided centre-back.
“He was really good on the ball. Obviously, Sean Gannon got injured in that match and he had to switch over but he likes playing there. He has a good attitude and he can play anywhere.”

Gannon and Robbie Benson are still some weeks away from making a return but Stephen O’Donnell got another 45 minutes under his belt against the Students and Kenny also gave a positive update on Shane Grimes and his progress from a serious hamstring injury.

“Shane is due to start full training this week and we’ll see how he goes after that. He has showed a great attitude and is a very good player. He has made an unbelievable effort to get back from what was a very bad injury,” said the Dundalk boss.

Bohemians have been beaten in their last three league games and sit two points off the bottom of the table but Kenny is wary of the threat that Keith Long’s side can pose.

“The reports from last weekend where that they played well against Cork and missed a few chances,” he said. “They seem to be working hard for each other and have a good attitude so we’ll have to get ready for it. It’s an important game.”

Despite trailing the Leesiders by a sizeable margin, Kenny believes that his new look side have shown glimpses of real promise.

“We can’t concern ourselves about winning league titles at the moment. Obviously we are well off so we just have to focus on winning matches.
“We’re not where we want to be but you can see in the likes of Clifford, Kinsella, McGrath and Duffy that there’s a lot of potential there. They just need games and they will add a lot to us.”
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