Limerick FC badly need to pick up three points tonight as they return to the Markets Field for the first time in a month.
Tommy Barrett’s side host high flying Waterford FC to the Garryowen venue and know that a win is vital if they are to keep tabs on Sligo Rovers and Bohemians above them in the table.
Limerick sit second from bottom and in the relegation playoff position; five points behind Sligo, who have a game in hand, and seven adrift of Bohs.
Barrett said he was hopeful that there will be a big crowd for the Munster derby, despite all the unrest in recent months surrounding player wages and the exit of some high profile squad members.
Last time out, Limerick were unlucky to lose 2-1 away to St Patrick’s Athletic and the Limerick boss says that he has struggled to let go of that defeat in the last seven days.
"We'll keep fighting till the end"
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“It was frustrating last week, said Barrett. “You have got to go 2-0 up when you’re in that position. We have a young team and they found it tough in the second half, the pace of the game and the physicality of it – they’re not used to the hits. Will’s goal was definitely onside, I don’t know how it was missed.
“Waterford will be a very tough game. The last time, down there, we started great and they started poor.
“They also had a man sent off early which didn’t help them. It will be difficult for us. They’re a good side, they’ve got a good squad – they can take players off the bench, and they can rest players. We don’t have that.
“But the boys have been excellent. I can’t complain. They are all doing their jobs and playing for each other. We’re playing very well, we’re just not getting the bounce of the ball at the moment, but hopefully that will change soon.
“We’re back at home now. As always, we will be hoping for a good turnout. It makes a big difference to the players when there is a good positive energy around the Markets Field, and I hope the supporters will come out to back us.”
Limerick beat fellow strugglers Bray Wanderers in their last game at home but away defeats to Derry and St Pat’s have seen their hopes of moving out of relegation trouble.
Barrett welcomes Cian Coleman back into the squad for tonight’s game after suspension but there is a doubt surrounding the availability of Eoin Wearen, who continues to nurse a niggling knee injury. Kick off at the Markets Field is 7:45pm.