Limerick FC face daunting Dundalk trip after troubled week

Colm Kinsella

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Colm Kinsella

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick FC face daunting Dundalk trip after troubled week

Limerick FC were humbled 8-0 by Dundalk in snowy conditions on their last visit to Oriel Park at the start of the season

LIMERICK FC will look to put their off-field financial troubles to one side on Friday night as Tommy Barrett’s charges face a demanding SSE Airtricity League Premier Division fixture with high-flying Dundalk at Oriel Park, 7.45pm.

Relegation-threatened Limerick suffered an 8-0 hiding on their previous visit to second-placed Dundalk this season.

Manager Barrett insists Limerick, currently sitting second-from-bottom in the top flight table, are in ‘a better position’ now than when they last made the trip to Oriel Park.

Dundalk also recorded a comfortable 3-0 win when the teams met at the Markets Field in April.

While Limerick have the worst home record in the Premier Division, only the country’s top two Dundalk and Cork City have picked up more points on the road, with just one loss – an unlucky one at Turner’s Cross – in their last six trips.

And Barrett is hoping his players can ‘put in a performance’, as he acknowledged the level of difficulty that Friday’s fixture presents.

“Of course, it will be tough. They have beaten us 8-0 and 3-0. They’re a very good side – they have players that can score from everywhere. It will be a really difficult task for us,” Barrett said.

“We’re playing well so we hope to put in a good performance. I thought at home last week we were very good, and the last few weeks there, but we just haven’t been getting the results that our performances probably deserve.

“Dundalk are one of the top teams in the country. They play excellent football; they have good players all over the park. But we have good players as well and we're playing well at the moment, so we'll go up there and hopefully put in a performance.”

Dundalk have won six league games on the bounce, and are on a four-game winning streak at Oriel Park.

Limerick have not defeated Dundalk in nearly five years, going back to September 2013 (12 meetings ago – 1 draw, 10 losses in the 11 subsequent clashes). On that occasion, Rory Gaffney netted twice in a 2-1 win under Stuart Taylor at Oriel Park.

Limerick will welcome midfielder Cían Coleman back from suspension for Friday night’s game, while defender Billy Dennehy (groin) returns from injury.

Barrett remains without winger Henry Cameron (international duty), strike pair Connor Ellis (hip), Danny Morrissey (hamstring) and centre-half Darren Dennehy (ankle), while winger Karl O'Sullivan is unavailable due to his Leaving Certificate exams.