Limerick FC’s Paudie O’Connor has vowed that the Treaty City club will not give up their Premier Division status without a fight.
The Blues are currently bottom of the table, two points behind Drogheda United and Sligo Rovers, and face a must-win assignment at home to Shamrock Rovers on Friday night (7.45pm).
And O’Connor is under no illusions about the task facing the Shannonside outfit at the Markets Field this weekend. “It’s obviously massive for the club in the long term,” said O’Connor.
“It took us 19 years to get up to this division and we want to stay here. To go down after just three years would be an injustice to the club and the work that’s gone into it.”
Limerick were defeated 2-0 by Derry City last week, a disappointing result, given that they looked to have found some form after a disastrous start to the season.
“Last Saturday was a bit of a blip. Looking back on it now, we didn’t perform as well as we knew we could,” said the young centre half.
A win this Friday will see Limerick survive for another week at least.
Their opponents, Shamrock Rovers are currently third in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division, some 33 points ahead of Limerick. The Hoops have conceded just 24 goals making their defence one of the best in the league. However, O’Connor is confident they have enough firepower to cause the 2011 champions problems.
“Definitely, I think we can cause them some problems,” he said. “Earlier in the season our attacks weren’t as dangerous but with Vinny (Faherty) and (Dean) Clarkey linking up and firing on all cylinders, we’ve been looking really dangerous lately. If they can keep doing that, we’ll keep scoring.”
Aged just 18, O’Connor scored the winning goal against Cork.
“That’s definitely one of the highlights for me,” said O’Connor. “It was great to get the winner.” O’Connor has since established himself as a reliable option at centre half for the Blues.
“The aim collectively is to stay up, add to the squad and push up the table next season,” he said.
Following the positive reading from the random test taken after a club game last month, the player has not featured recently and a hefty sanction is expected.
Last night, the FAI were unavailable for comment. The player will have the right to appeal any potential sanction incurred.
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