WINLESS Limerick FC will be targeting an Easter rising up the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table as Martin Russell’s side host champions Dundalk at Jackman Park this Saturday evening, 6.30pm.
While Limerick sit second-from-bottom in the top flight table on two points, Dundalk lead the Premier Division on a maximum 15 points from five games and the Co Louth side is yet to concede a goal.
Blues boss Russell will, however, be encouraged by the battling nature of his side’s display in their 2-1 home defeat to FAI Cup holders St Pat’s last weekend.
Martin Russell said: “Dundalk coming to town is a great game. You want to test yourself against the sides which are leading the way. Dundalk are definitely doing that. No one has scored against them yet in the League. They have maximum points, so they will come here full of confidence.
“We have gained a lot of belief in ourselves over the past few weeks. If we can continue to put the effort in we have been doing, I think we will do well against Dundalk.”
Limerick will be hoping that the staging of the game on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend will encourage several hundred more supporters to turn out.
Just 425 spectators turned out for Saturday’s home tie with St Pat’s.
Russell said: “I have said it before, the club can only grow stronger with more people coming on board, either through supporters coming through the gates or business people getting alongside Pat (Chairman Pat O’Sullivan) helping to drive it on. Those people may say they would like to see success first - it’s a chicken and egg situation. You are likely to get success with more resources.
“Dundalk were only getting a could of hundred at their games the season before they finished second in the League. With their recent success, suddenly they are getting 2,000-3,000. That may well happen at Limerick.
“People may well jump on the bandwagon when things do prosper which can happen at the club as, down the road, structure wise will help the club have more resources. It will happen quicker if people get behind the club.
“We would be appealing to people to come out and watch the lads play. They are a good young group of lads, who give their all for the club. They need your support.
“You want to get as many points as possible and get that first win as early as you can. It is still early days of course in the league for everyone, whether you are the side leading at the top or one down at the bottom. It’s still early on.
“All we can do is go into each game trying to play well, trying to get maximum points. As far as I can see that is possible with the group we have. We probably should have gotten more points in the draws we got with Longford and Drogheda. We gave St Pat’s a lot of questions and probably could have gotten a draw out of the game.”
Russell said the playing surface at Jackman Park, which has come in for criticism in recent weeks, isn’t the only pitch to come in for scrutiny.
“It is the highest level of football in the country. There are too many pitches in the league which are probably sub-standard. The people that are in charge might say well, we haven’t got a full-time groundsman or we haven’t thins or that and we need to get resources to get the pitch to a level.