Limerick FC have survival in their own hands

Colm Kinsella

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Colm Kinsella

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick FC have survival in their own hands

Limerick FC's Barry Cotter thanks the travelling support after the St Pat's clash

LIMERICK FC captain Shane Duggan says already relegated Drogheda Utd will be able to play without fear which makes them highly dangerous opponents in Saturday’s crucial SSE Airtricity League Premier Division fixture at the Markets Field.

Limerick sit three points above the Premier Division relegation zone after captain Duggan dramatically rescued a precious point in a thrilling 2-2 draw with St Patrick’s Athletic in Inchicore on Saturday.

Limerick face the first of their remaining high stakes Premier Division league fixtures this Saturday when already relegated Drogs visit Garryowen this weekend.

Seventh-placed Limerick sit three points above Galway Utd who occupy the first of the three relegation places in the top flight.

Limerick have taken five points from their last three league outings, with a 1-1 draw at Bray Wanderers followed by the 2-1 home victory over Cork and the 2-2 draw with St Pat’s last weekend.

Limerick will be looking to complete a hat-trick of league victories over Drogheda this weekend. Following Saturday’s game, Limerick FC host relegation-threatened Galway United at the Markets Field on Friday, October 20 at 7.45pm and finally Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium on Friday, October 27.

Looking ahead to Saturday's clash with Co Louth side Drogheda, Duggan said the Blues needed to keep their feet on the ground ahead of their clash with opponents who have won just four of their 30 top flight league fixtures this season.

Limerick skipper Duggan said: “We have to concentrate on ourselves. We knew if we got a result at St Pat's, we have a massive two games at home in the next few weeks.

“If we can pick up a three points that might get us over the line. We can’t get carried away. All our feet are on the ground. We know it is going to be a massive game. 

“Drogheda Utd will probably go out there with no fear and we know we have to pick up the points, so we just have to stay composed and be right at it.”

Duggan is set to miss Saturday's game with Drogheda as he is suspended for the fixture.

Following Saturday’s last gasp draw with St Pat’s Duggan added: “Yeah, it was a massive point for us. We knew going up beforehand that it was going to be a tough game.

“They needed the points and we needed to get something out of the game as well, so it was brilliant the way we kept going to the end.”

Limerick FC manager Neil McDonald has been delighted with how the side has responded to the challenge of trying to push away from the relegation zone in recent weeks.

“We’ve battled and picked up some precious points. It shows that the team is all together, doesn’t give up and wants to be in the Premier Division next year,” McDonald said.

In the previous league meetings with Drogheda Utd this season, Limerick FC produced an utterly dominant display in dismissing the Co Louth side 3-0 in April with goals from Rodrigo Tosi, Chris Mulhall and Chiedozie Ogbene.

Limerick then defeated Drogheda 2-0 at United Park in June with goals in either half from Robbie Williams and Garbhan Coughlan.

Manager McDonald agreed that the weekend draw with the Saints was a good point for the Blues to pick up on the road.

McDonald said: “We’ve dominated games before and been beaten up with last minute goals, so it was nice to get one ourselves. It’s good to take a point away from home.

“I was stressed because we didn’t play to the level we have been doing in the past. We did well in the first half; created a few chances and should have scored more than we did.

“We’ve battled away though, and got our just rewards in the end to be fair.”

With six points separating the five teams placed between seventh and eleventh in the table, the relegation dogfight could well go down to the last series of fixtures.