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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Kenny not happy with date switch

Published 05/06/2013 | 05:20

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Stephen McDonnell of Dundalk challenges Phoenix player Glen Wade during Friday’s FAI Cup tie in Oriel Park. Picture: Ken Finegan

DUNDALK boss Stephen Kenny is bemoaning the fixture-makers after the Lilywhites were asked to play two key games in four days - after a 10-day break.

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The Lilywhites, who safely booked their place in the last 16 of the FAI Cup at the expense of Phoenix last Friday, don't play again until the Louth derby against Drogheda next Monday night (8pm).

That game is followed by the visit of leaders St Patrick's to Oriel Park on the Friday, and while some of his players might welcome the break from competition after a congested fixture schedule, Kenny certainly doesn't.

'I think it's a serious disadvantage to have no game for 10 days and then be asked to play two in four days,' he said on Tuesday afternoon.

'If the results go our way we are capable of getting within a couple of points of St Pat's, but for the league to change a game from a Saturday to Monday is most unusual.

'It's a big couple of games for us before the break and psychologically it's important, but those are the cards we have been dealt and we'll have to make sure we prepare in the right way.'

Kenny's thinking might also be that Dundalk were just beginning to build up a head of steam, following up a home defeat by UCD with a win in Sligo and then a goals feast against Phoenix.

A victory in Drogheda next Monday would open up an 11-point gap on Dundalk's neighbours, and Kenny agreed that the Lilywhites could be considered league contenders should results go their way over the next 10 days.

'We have not ruled anything out yet, and if we could get out the right side of the two games we would really raise our ambitions again, but it's one game at a time. Drogheda are strong at home and they have ambitions of their own.'

Dundalk have captain Stephen O'Donnell and former Drogs John Sullivan and Darren Meenan all suspended for the trip to Hunky Dorys Park, while John Mountney, John Dillon and Chris Shields are all doubts as they recover from injury.

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