Sunday 18 March 2018

Crucial month ahead for struggling Drogs

PJ Murray

For Drogheda manager Pete Mahon, July will be the month which determines his club's fate.

Following the defeat to Limerick on Friday the Boynesiders hit the bottom of the table for the first time this season and Mahon says the next three fixtures are crucial.

'We play Sligo, Galway and St Pats in the next three games,' began the manager.

'This month will determine our future in this division, I firmly believe that.' Mahon's side have an extra day's rest before they travel to Sligo on Saturday evening in a game which Mahon says that he remains confident of a win, if they players possibly don't.

'The lads are becoming more and more fearful the longer this run continues. But I'm confident and I have to be confident that we can get a result. That's my job, to galvanise them, we played a match Friday night then everyone was there again on Saturday looking to play again, so that's the kind of spirit that's in the camp at the moment.'

'Saturday will be a difficult game up there, while they have lost their talisman in Kieran Sadlier, they still have a lot of good players and they are fighting for their place in this division along with us, so there is a lot on the line.'

While Pete has several injury worries ahead of the trip to Sligo, the Drogheda manager announced the signing of Sean Russell on Sunday. 

'Colly Deasy got injured against Limerick and then Ciaran McGuigan broke a bone in his hand but still played on Friday and yesterday in fairness to him, Kevin Farragher picked up an injury and we'll assess him, so we are short a few bodies at the moment.' 

'But It's great to get a player like Sean involved,' he exclaimed. 'He was training with us two weeks ago and then he went to Galway for a week and on Friday he gave us a call saying he'd like to sign.' 

'The most important thing for me is his ability. He loves getting on the ball and never shies away from a challenge and I hope he'll have a big impact on the remainder of our season,' added Mahon. 

Russell was previously with USL side Louisville City before he asked for his contract to be terminated so he could return home.

The former UCD, Longford Town and Shelbourne player was signed by his father Martin at Limerick joined Limerick for the first time ahead of the 2015 season. The midfielder went on to score three times in 30 league appearances but left the club when Limerick were relegated to the First Division following a two legged play-off defeat to Finn Harps.

Mahon said that he has a second signing lined up and hopes to get the deal done over the week. 

Reflecting on Friday's defeat Mahon said it's a case of once again not winning at home. So far this season the Boynesiders have managed only two wins at home in the league. 

'Finn Harps are far stronger than we were, their game suits their team. We had one or two chances, Thomas Byrne had a good chance but apart from that we huffed and puffed really. But we did show a bit more going forward than we have in recent weeks. We are still going to have to improve to get away from the bottom of the table.'

Drogheda haven't won since April, which is a damning statistic in itself and Mahon admits the fans are probably looking at him to see what he's doing. 

'I know the supporters are looking at me and see what I'm doing, but I'm doing the best I can with the resources that I have and it's not helpful when you're losing a lot of matches because it drains the team both physically and emotionally. There's no way out of it other than working on the training ground,' he explained.

But Mahon also added that they require that small bit of luck which has been missing in recent weeks if they are to try and turn things around, especially starting with Sligo on Saturday night.

Drogheda Independent