LIMERICK FC manager Stuart Taylor insists that he and his players have “no fear” about the team’s early struggles in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
The Super Blues are second from bottom and without a win from their first five matches ahead of their visit to Bohemians on Friday night (kick-off 7:45pm).
The Phibsboro men have made a decent start to the campaign and lie fifth in the table going to this weekend’s Dalymount Park encounter.
While Taylor is wary of Bohs’ counterattacking threat, having seen it firsthand during their 3-1 win away to Athlone Town on Monday, he is adamant that there is no panic setting in amongst his players.
He said: “It’s going to be a very difficult game on Friday night because they are a different side to last year. They work hard and they’re hard to break down. They look to hit you on the break. They look to sit in, make it stuffy and make it difficult to move the ball against them.
“Then they go to hit you on the break so we’ve got to make sure that, as much as we want to be expansive, open up and attack, we close the back door as well and make sure they don’t hit us on the break. It will be a difficult game.
“There’s no panic buttons getting pressed, albeit we aren’t happy with the start we’ve made in terms of the points that we’ve got. There’s games that we should have done better in – the Drogheda game was one we should have done better in – but we’re getting there. We’re getting players back in contention every single week, which is good, so we just need to keep pushing on.”
Limerick’s most recent league game ended in a 1-1 draw away to UCD last Friday. Tomás Boyle’s goal looked like being enough to give the Students all three points before Jason Hughes tied the game with a stoppage time equaliser.
Craig Curran had the ball in the UCD net on 84 minutes but the goal was disallowed for offside, a decision that Taylor met with disagreement.
“I thought it was a very poor call. We looked back on the video analysis and there were three, possibly even four, players who kept Craig Curran onside. I think it’s a massive error by the linesman.
“We’re always non-confrontational when it comes to officials and I think it would be fair to say that he’ll be extremely disappointed when he looks back on the game himself. It was an extremely poor call, but they make mistakes and we’ve said before that we have to get on with it.
“It’s a sore one when you’re vying for the victory and we had other chances in the game as well. We had two penalty claims turned down and there was actually a third one that went unnoticed. Their goalkeeper made some great saves and we had a massive amount of the play as well. There was a lot of good stuff on Friday night and we just need to make sure we take that into Friday’s game against Bohs.
“Last week we didn’t snatch it and it didn’t feel like a win just because it was a last minute goal. We should have won the game. We had enough of the play to win it and we had enough chances to win it.
“We had the ball in the net twice which was more than good enough to win the game, two good goals but we had one of them chalked off.”
Limerick were scheduled to be in action against Cork City last Monday evening, but the fixture was postponed because of concerns over the safety of the playing surface at Thomond Park.
Taylor was a little disappointed that the game didn’t go ahead, but said that the postponement allowed for extended recovery time for his players. The fixture has now been rescheduled for Tuesday May 20, with a 7:45pm kick-off.
Two days after the Bohemians game, Limerick FC take on Rockmount in the semi-finals of the Munster Senior Cup, a match for which Taylor plans to shuffle the pack somewhat.
“We’re going to be arranging games throughout the season to give game time to players that haven’t been starting and also to progress the under 19s up. We’ll give them game time and give them experience of playing alongside the first team boys, and also playing against more experienced and better players than they’d be used to at under 19s. We’ll be looking to put a strong enough squad out in the Munster Senior Cup game. ”
On the injury front, the manager confirmed that defender Mick Leahy and midfielder Danny Galbraith are making good progress on their respective recoveries, although he has not set a return date for either player.