Wednesday 22 May 2019

Hoare says Dundalk have to back up big game victory

James Rogers

Sean Hoare returns to Richmond Park on Friday night adamant that last weekend's victory over Cork City will count for nothing if Dundalk don't follow it up with victory against his old side St Patrick's Athletic.

There hasn't been too many times this season where Stephen Kenny's side have dropped points but one such occasion came back in March when the Lilywhites were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at the Inchicore venue having beaten Cork the previous week.

Hoare is anxious to ensure that doesn't happen again and called on his side to show the same commitment against a struggling Pat's side as they did against the champions.

"They're going to be looking to bounce back after a few defeats. They'll want to correct that," he said of Liam Buckley's side.

"They have a free crack at us at home now. If we don't go there and show the same professionalism as we did tonight then this doesn't mean F-all. We need to just go there with our heads set and treat it the same as this.

"I love playing at Richmond, I think it's a great ground to play in and the pitch is generally great so hopefully we'll get the ball down and just play our game," said Hoare. Sean McLoughlin's 92nd minute own goal was enough for Dundalk to beat Cork City on Friday night to send the Lilywhites top and that's a position the 24-year-old is anxious to hang on to.

"We've got ourselves up there now, which was the aim and now we've something to hold onto. "It's some way to win a game of football," he said of the late winner.

"I didn't think we were going to do it in the end but we've done that sort of thing a lot here. We just keep going until the final whistle and we've got so many points that way so it was great to do it again.

"It shows the fitness levels and how hard we work. Even in the mid-season break we didn't get that much time off which obviously benefitted us. We just concentrated on keeping our fitness levels at a good level and it paid off today."

Another thing that paid off was the introduction of Krisztián Adorján to the starting 11 with Hoare impressed with the Hungarian's finish for the game's opening goal 29 seconds into the second half.

"He took it well. It just shows the strength in our squad because he wasn't starting that many games and then he comes into such a big game for his first start in a while and gets such a big goal.

"We know his quality, he has just been waiting for his chance and he took it really well."

Hoare was less impressed with the manner in which Dundalk conceded but praised his teammates for bouncing back from the setback of seeing Josh O'Hanlon score to win the game at the death.

"We just didn't stay with our man from the set piece," admitted Hoare.

"We were just following the play out but they hooked it back in and in fairness to him they finished it well. It was against the run of play and everybody could see that but how we reacted was very positive because we went on and got the winner then.

"We put the ball in a good position. It was a great goal by Ronan as well. We keep going and our fitness levels let us do that. Whereas other teams might wilt away in the last 15 minutes, we keep going."

The Argus