Limerick FC return to the Markets Field for a crucial league game with Bohemians on Saturday night, 6.30pm
MISFIRING Limerick FC face a crucial test in their fight to avoid relegation from the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division when Bohemians visit the Markets Field on Saturday, 6.30pm.
Struggling Limerick fell to their fourth defeat in five top flight games when Shamrock Rovers scored a deserved 2-0 victory over Neil McDonald’s side at the Garryowen venue on Tuesday.
The defeat leaves the seventh-placed Blues dangling just three points above the drop zone.
On the back of an even opening 40 minutes, the concession of a poor goal from a corner just before half-time to Rovers’ David McAllister and another by Hoops captain Ronan Finn in the second half saw lacklustre Limerick suffer defeat before an official attendance of 1,234.
The Blues, who secured their place in the second round of the FAI Cup with a clinical 3-0 away win over Cobh Ramblers on Saturday night last, have taken just one point from a possible 15 in their last five league fixtures.
To be fair three of those defeats have been against top four sides in the Premier Division table – two away from home – but on the back of the poor run and falling confidence levels it is going to take something special for Limerick to turn their fortunes round.
In attack, Limerick, who have now won one of their last eight Premier Division fixtures have scored just once in their last five league games.
The sense of optimism, generated by Saturday night’s Cup win over Cobh at St Colman’s Park, wasn’t much in evidence among Blues supporters trooping out of the ground at full-time on Tuesday night.
Incidentally, Limerick will face fellow Premier Division strugglers Finn Harps at the Markets Field in their second round FAI Cup tie on Saturday week, just six days before the same two sides lock horns for a vital league fixture.
Limerick sit five points and one place behind Bohemians in the table.
The Shannonsiders did secure a 2-1 win away to Bohemians in manager McDonald’s first game in full charge in May.
Looking ahead to Saturday night’s game, Limerick FC manager Neil McDonald said: “All the games are huge now. We are in a situation where we are struggling to score and we are struggling to keep clean sheets.
”We have to stand up and be counted for the next game coming up on Saturday against Bohs and have a much better performance to give ourselves a chance to win.
”If they don’t then we will struggle, if the players come in feeling sorry for themselves we will be in the same situation we are tonight and that is not what we are hoping to have.
”We have to make sure we don’t have the wrath of the fans.
”Shamrock Rovers is gone now, we have to move on to Bohs the next game. We have to play better in both aspects of our game throughout the 90 minutes to get a good result.”
Asked if he hoped to bolster the squad with further signings before the end of the month, McDonald said: “The window is still open, we are still chatting and we are still trying to strengthen the squad.
“I think we need help all over the pitch. First of all, we need to find a goalscorer – the whole team needs to score not just one person and the whole team needs to defend better, so we are trying to improve the squad all the way through until the end of the transfer window.”