DFC | Massey confident of catching Cork

Lilywhites make the trip to Tallaght on Friday night

Dundalk FC’s Dane Massey celebrates after the win over BATE Borisov in Tallaght last year. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

The SSE Airtricity League enters the second series of games tomorrow night when Dundalk visit Tallaght Stadium, a place that has almost become a second home for the Lilywhites in recent times.

Everybody remembers those famous European nights in south Dublin last year when Dundalk wiped the floor with BATE Borisov, created history against Maccabi Tel Aviv, pushed Zenit St Petersburg to the limit before running out of steam against AZ Alkmaar.

Friday night, however, is all about domestic matters and Dundalk know that they will need to pile more misery on Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley if they want to remain on Cork City’s coat-tails.

Last week’s injury-time loss to struggling Galway United, coupled with Cork City’s unblemished start to the season, means that a 12-point gap has emerged at the top of the table.

The doom and gloom merchants — who have had nothing to moan about for the past four seasons — have been sharpening their knives with Kenny’s tactics, his new signings and the hunger of multiple title winners all called into question.

Obviously, Dundalk have more than a bit of work to do but with 22 games — yes that’s right, 22 — left to play, there is still plenty of time to put things right.

Those with a negative disposition could do a lot worse than listen to Lilywhites full-back, Dane Massey. One of Kenny’s Dundalk originals from 2013, the 29-year-old was bullish when he spoke about making up the deficit.

Can Dundalk catch Cork? Definitely, says Massey. There are no maybes about it.

“We’ve only just finished the first round of matches and there are so many games still to be played. There’s cup games and European games to come too,” he told Dundalk Sport.
“Cork are the same, they’ll have a busy period aswell so I’m not too worried about them. We just need to worry about ourselves and I’ve no doubt we’re going to catch them.
“They’ve had a very strong run and I’m sure their confidence is very high at the minute but, like every team, they will drop points at some stage of the season and I’m sure we’ll be there to take advantage.”

If the long road back begins on Friday, then facing Rovers, in Tallaght, is probably the best place to start.

With the exception of FAI and Leinster Senior Cup ties, the Hoops have only beaten Dundalk once in the past four years and manager Bradley is under heavy pressure after a proper dismal start to the season which has seen them lose six of their first 11 games.

“We love playing in Tallaght. Obviously, we had the European games there last year and we enjoy the pitch. It suits us up there,” said Massey.
“We know what we have to do,” he added. “We have to win every game now and put some pressure on Cork so we’ll be ready for Rovers.”
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