DFC | Kenny expecting a Battle by the Boyne in Friday night’s Louth Derby
Lilywhites head south of the county to face Drogheda United
Stephen Kenny is expecting a Battle by the Boyne this evening when Dundalk FC take on Drogheda United in the second Louth derby of the season.
The Lilywhites went into the SSE Airtricity League mid-season sitting 18 points adrift of leaders Cork City, who signed off with a 3–0 win at Oriel Park two weeks ago.
Depending on your way of thinking, a trip to United Park could be viewed as the best — or worst — possible fixture to kickstart the second part of the season.
This fixture is usually a tight affair and Kenny expects it to be fast and furious again this time around.
“They’re always tough games in Drogheda,” he told Dundalk Sport. “Generally, we’ve always won the games convincingly enough at Oriel Park but in United Park, they’ve been tighter affairs and that’s what we expect on Friday.
“We put in two very good performances in our last two away games, against Limerick and St Pat’s, and created a lot of chances but we’ll need to put in another good performance up there.
“Drogheda had a few good results before the break, three nil-all draws, so they’re obviously defending well. We’ll have to earn the right to win the game. We understand that and we’ll be ready to do that.”
The Dundalk FC squad spent four days of the mid-season break at a training camp in Fota Island and the Lilywhites boss said it was a welcome opportunity to experiment ahead of next month’s Champions League Qualifier.
“We have five league games in quick succession before the European game,” he said. “The players all came in on what was a week off and we got a lot of good work done in Cork,” he said.
“The idea was to go down there and work on different systems that we might use in Europe. We had an opportunity to do that with good facilities.”
Chris Shields sat out training on Tuesday night with an ongoing groin issue but Kenny expects the midfielder to be fit for the clash with Pete Mahon’s side. Winger Steven Kinsella, who didn’t take part in training at Fota Island, should also be back by the end of this week.
The Lilywhites boss also spoke about the possibility of bringing in some new recruits when the transfer window opens in July.
“It’s something we will consider but I only want to bring players in that will improve the team so we’ll have to wait and see,” he stated.
Patrick Hoban and Sligo Rovers attacker Kieran Sadlier are believed to be on Kenny’s radar but the chances of them joining may be dependent on players going out.
Regarding Georgie Poynton and Ciaran O’Connor, who are currently on loan at Bohemians and Finn Harps respectively, Kenny said a decision on their short-term future would be based on any possible incomings and outgoings in July.