Limerick FC must pass Students test

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UCD v LimerickLIMERICK FC face a busy weekend as they continue to search for a first league win of 2014, with a trip to UCD on Friday night quickly followed by a local derby at home to Cork City on Monday (both 7:45 kick-off).

Both of those teams have made fine starts to the season, with UCD in the top half on the back of scoring five at Bray Wanderers and Cork joint-top of the table alongside Shamrock Rovers.

Limerick manager Stuart Taylor has plenty of faith in his side to get that elusive victory, however, and the Super Blues will be helped by the return of key players from injury.

Taylor said: “There’s no easy games in this league. UCD have started very well. I’ve been up to see them personally. They’re a little bit different from what they were last year. They’re not the same passing side as what they were.

“Cork have made strong additions in close season. They’ve started the season well, but once we’ve got a full squad back and we’ve got them game time under their belts, we’ve got a team as good as anyone in the league.

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“We’ve had a lot of injuries. We’ve had a few illnesses and they’ve all come at once. Slowly but surely we’re getting everybody back now and we’re starting to see the faces coming back on the pitch. We’re just hoping we can go from strength to strength.

“Games are coming thick and fast again and it’s good that the players who have been out and not done a pre-season will use that time like a pre-season to get themselves back fit.

“We’ve had first and second place from last year but I’d still like to have more points on the board and I think we should have more points on the board, but we just need to build on it and we will. There’s loads of games still to rack up and once we get everybody back fit we’ll be fine.”

Taylor was boosted by the return of Craig Curran from injury in last weekend’s home defeat against Drogheda United, a match that also saw a Super Blues debut for new signing Tam McManus.

The appearance of those two strikers was most welcome for Limerick, with a dearth of attacking options forcing Rory Gaffney to toil up front on his own for the majority of their four league games to date, although the manager warned that it would be unwise to over-exert Curran and McManus at this stage.

“There has only been one fit and available striker from the start of the season and that’s been Rory, so there’s only certain ways you can play.

“You’re restricted to certain formations and now that we’ve got Craig Curran back and Tam McManus in about things, we can be a bit more flexible, but we need to be patient with those two coming in and we need to make sure that they’re not being thrown in at the deep end.

“We’re trying to build them up and that’s something we need to keep in the back of our minds right now, but we’ve got good players about the team. There’s good players in key areas of the pitch and that’s important for us. We’re starting to get them back and that’s a positive step.”