LIMERICK FC manager Stuart Taylor said that he and his team “owe one” to Drogheda United ahead of the trip to Hunky Dory’s Park on Friday night.
The Super Blues’ two previous meetings with the Louth club this season have left them with a score to settle. In March, Limerick were reduced to nine men and had Taylor sent from the touchline as they let a lead slip to draw 2-2 in Drogheda, and two months later they gave perhaps their worst performance of the season in a 0-1 home defeat to Mick Cooke’s side.
Those two harrowing experiences have left Taylor, a former Drogheda player, particularly keen to exact retribution in the form of a second consecutive victory, following on from last week’s impressive win over Cork City.
“I think without a shadow of a doubt it’s one team that we owe one to. I think the way circumstances unfolded in Drogheda last time – we did deserve to get three points but it wasn’t to be – and also the way that we played, or never played, at Thomond Park against them. We certainly owe ourselves and we owe the supporters. We also owe Drogheda and no matter what way you look at it, we must go for a win,” said the Limerick manager.
Drogheda go into the game on the back of a 3-1 victory at Derry City on Monday in the EA Sports Cup, a competition they won last year, and Taylor hopes that the exertions of the trip to The Brandywell will be felt by the Drogs.
He added that Limerick will have to match their opponents for workrate, something he believes they did not do in their previous meeting at Thomond Park in May.
“Hopefully they’ll be tired a little bit. I’ll be looking for the players to go out and play at a high tempo as they always do and to be in about them for the first 30 minutes of the game especially, to ask questions of their fitness levels and their mentality. Drogheda are a very dogged team in regards to seeing games out and fighting and scrapping for every ball, and it’s something we must make sure that we’re up for.
“We need to add that side to our game consistently every week. I think we’ve done it in spells this season but against Drogheda in the last game we never did it at all. We’ve proved that we can go up there and match them for fight, that we can score goals against them, and we need to go up there and keep a clean sheet as well.”
Limerick are currently a comfortable sixth in the table and another win on Friday will put further daylight between them and the tightly-condensed teams in the bottom half of the Premier Division.
They are still seven points adrift of Shamrock Rovers immediately above them, but Taylor has the Hoops in his sights as he seeks to guide Limerick as far up the league as possible.
“We never change our tactics in any other way and we look to win every single game we go into, but even more so this time around for the Drogheda game. We’re six points clear of them at this moment and we’re looking to get the win to go nine points clear of them, but we’re always looking above us.
“We’re looking to claw back another three points on Shamrock Rovers and get closer to them by the time we play them in a few weeks’ time. We’re looking to get as close to them by that point or even ahead of them and that’s our target at the moment.”