Limerick have top spot in their sights as they host Wexford

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Carlisle Grounds, Wicklow 21/9/2018 Bray Wanderers vs Limerick Limerick's Connor Ellis celebrates scoring a goal Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Limerick FC will be aiming to extend their winning run this week as they host Wexford FC at the Markets Field on Friday night (7.45pm).

The Super Blues will be looking for their fifth straight league victory and to keep pace with early pacesetters Longford Town.

Limerick are only in second place on goal difference although there are a host of clubs right behind them with seven games played.

Last Friday night, Tommy Barrett’s side defeated Galway United at Eamon Deacy Park 0-1 courtesy of a Sean McSweeney goal midway through the first half.

In truth, Galway failed to create many chances outside of a late Stephen Walsh volley as Limerick kept their fourth clean sheet in seven games.

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Without sounding like a broken record, Limerick’s experience in defence as well as the development of Jack Brady and Killian Brouder has been pivotal to the bright start. Brouder is growing in confidence with every game and was much more commanding in the aerial duels on Friday.

Many people feel that Brady’s biggest weakness is his ability to claim crosses but outside of one scare last week, he confidently collected the majority of what Galway had to offer under pressure.

The only worry to emerge from the game was the volume of yellow cards that the visitors picked up in Galway. Darren Murphy was yellow carded for a needless foul on the halfway line while Jack Brady was booked for time wasting. Also, Jason Hughes and Robbie Williams received cautions.

With the news that Sean Russell will be unavailable for the rest of the season, Limerick can ill afford numerous suspensions with such a small squad. Keeping experienced players fit is vital but Barrett has called for people to be realistic as it is difficult to maintain good form in the league.

“We could get a dip in form and anything could happen. We have a real solid back four now Shane Tracy and Shaun Kelly are playing really well as well as Robbie and Killian.

“So, if one those lads gets injured we are lacking experience. We need to keep those boys right. Hughes (Jason and Murphy (Darren) are like two terriers in there too.

Sean McSweeney picked up his first league goal of the season and has been improving in recent weeks.

The creative midfielder took time to adapt to the speed following his return to this level from Regional but has been an important attacking player in recent weeks.

As Barrett alludes to, he has been a threat in the air and a physical presence also.

“I’m delighted for Sean and he played well again. I’ve heard a few lads giving out to him that he doesn’t work hard enough and I don’t think that’s fair to say.

“He works his socks off and he is a stylish looking footballer who always looks like he has time on the ball.”

Wexford arrive in Limerick as the division’s basement side but have shown signs of real improvement in recent weeks without the results following.

The Ferrycarrig Park outfit defeated promotion hopefuls Bray Wanderers 2-0 just two weeks ago before pushing both Drogheda an Longford Town all the way in recent games, losing out to late goals in both 2-1 losses.

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Carlisle Grounds, Wicklow 21/9/2018
Bray Wanderers vs Limerick
Limerick’s Connor Ellis celebrates scoring a goal
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

There are currently 11 points separating the two sides in the league but with the way results have went in the first division, it won’t deter a possible shock from occurring.

Barrett is adamant that Limerick will respect every opponent this year and are not in any position to be complacent following the recent good run.

“We don’t take anyone lightly. We give everyone the respect they deserve. We saw it with Athlone last week and again tonight, they were in the game until the 95th minute.

“Wexford ran Longford close tonight and ran Drogheda close last week again.

“Any team that keeps those two to within one goal and especially those two deserves respect and hopefully we can keep it as tight as possible and get a win.”

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