Dundalk buoyed by five new players

Dundalk and Drogheda United go head-to-head in tonight’s Louth derby at Oriel Park, kick-off 7.45pm.

Dundalk and Drogheda United go head-to-head in tonight’s Louth derby at Oriel Park, kick-off 7.45pm.

Sean Connor’s Lilywhites have Michael Daly back in contention after missing the trip to Galway due to suspension.

However, the home side have a number of injury concerns with Liam Burns (hamstring), Darren Mansaram (knee), Michael Collins (back), Tiarnan Mulvenna (knee) and Michael McGinlay (thigh strain) all battling to be fit in time.

Manager Connor said: "We’re entering into this game under totally different circumstances than when we met Drogheda back in March.

“We went into that game on the back of two defeats, so there was a wee bit of tension trying to get our first win, but we’re on a very good run going into this one, so the circumstances have changed.

“We have also added five new players – Alex Williams, Kevin McKinlay, Michael McGowan, Peter Cherrie and Paul McAreavey – which has certainly given the squad a freshness.

“And although squad numbers are still at 17, what we have, I think, is 17 quality players and I think any one of the 17 players could be in the starting eleven, and that’s a position I love to be in."

Steve Williams returns to the Drogheda squad after recovering from injury and managing to play a full 90 minutes against Dundee United.

Robbie Farrell is the only long-term injury concern for United boss Alan Mathews at the moment.

And new signing Scott Gigg is likely to make his competitive debut for Drogheda tonight.

Mathews said: “I’ll leave it to other people to talk about the fact that it is a derby, it’s another Friday night game and we have to focus on trying to pick up three points.

“The fact that it is a derby can be a distraction. We have some ex-Dundalk players in our squad and they have some ex-Drogheda players in their squad. It will be a good occasion for both players and supporters.”

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