Drogheda Independent

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Louth keeping 'Faith' ahead of Offaly clash

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With Louth rooted to the bottom of the Division 3 table after two games, they are in danger of being cut adrift if they don't pick up points this week against fellow strugglers Offaly.

Louth manager Wayne Kierans is not keen to heap any more unwanted pressure on his players or himself - but he doesn't need to. 'Offaly are going to be tough; we saw that in the O'Byrne Cup.'

Kierans stated after Sunday's agonising defeat to Tipperary. 

'They're all important. There's only seven games. If you want to say one is a four-pointer, but we don't really look at it like that. 'Fair play to the boys today,' Kierans continued.

'They put in some shift and to just not get over the line, it is a blow and we feel low at the minute, but you just have to look at the positives going forward. We'd a lot of young lads out there, bedding their way into National League football.

'It's a really difficult division, whether you're trying to stay up or get promoted. All we can do is try and recover as best we can and replicate that performance against Offaly. We can't get relegated or promoted next weekend, we just have to put in another performance and make sure we get the win.'

The performance was built on a foundation of hard work across the field, what made it even more pleasing for Kierans, was the fact that it was played on the much maligned Gaelic Grounds pitch.

'The performance was much improved at home,' Kierans noted. 

'We can't be blaming Drogheda today and the boys covered the ground really well and put in a really intense performance. We've another home game next week and as I've said to the boys, if we replicate that performance, dotting the i's and crossing a few t's, we will get the win we deserve.

'During the week when we go back to training and look at the game, of course there are things we'll be looking at and specific things we can do better. But we're quite happy with how today went, obviously apart from the result.'

Kierans reflected on the worrying pile-up of injuries that is severely affecting his squad at the minute, but assured that it won't affect the spirit within the camp ahead of Sunday's crunch game.

'We lost Burnsey the other night at training,' Kierans explains.

'That was another blow. Maybe he would have bridged the gap today, who knows. It's something that's inflicting us greatly at the minute.'

It's another short turnaround to Sunday's make-or-break clash with Offaly, but injuries aside Kierans doesn't think it will be a factor.

'I don't think there'll be an issue there. We'll get recovered now and keep positive. There's always a lot of negativity surrounding us anyway, because of the results over the years, but they're good lads, they will recover. We just need to keep fighting; the boys will fight and we'll all fight.'

Louth face the Faithful County twice in the space of 24 hours, with Aidan Shevlin's U-20s hosting Offaly in Dunleer on Saturday at 2pm. The young Reds will be buoyed by an excellent showing in the Leo Murphy Cup where they defeated Tyrone and Antrim, eventually losing in the final to Mayo.

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