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Buckley turns Fingal focus to Drogheda Clarets' Long to go on loan

SPORTING Fingal swap glamorous Madeira for Morton Stadium tonight as they resume league action after their Europa League heroics last week.

Even though Liam Buckley's side have a fair chance of progressing past Portuguese side Maritimo, thanks to the two away goals scored in the 3-2 defeat, they have to concentrate on domestic affairs as they take on Drogheda United at home tonight, especially as title rivals Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and St Pats won their league games over the weekend.

"This is an important game to win in the context of how the league table is panning out," said boss Buckley.

"We defeated Bray Wanderers well in our last league outing and this is one we'd be expected to win given our respective positions in the table.

"That doesn't count for much if we don't perform. We've quite a few players nursing knocks and niggles from Thursday's Europa game but I'll be putting out a team capable of getting the desired result.

"We were all understandably disappointed not to take at least a draw in Madeira but the performance gave us confidence going into the second leg at Dalymount on Thursday. Also, having avoided the big guns in Friday's draw for the third round, there's even more reason to strive for the win."

Clarets' Long to go on loan

BURNLEY boss Brian Laws wants to send Ireland U21 cap Kevin Long out on loan to gain first team experience.

The defender joined Burnley from Cork City last year but he has not yet progressed to the first team and Laws has allowed him to play for MK Dons in a friendly game last week with a view to securing a loan move.

"This is an ideal opportunity to get Kevin some first team experience and MK Dons are going to have a good look at him. Carlisle will also be having a look and hopefully we can get Kevin sorted out with a loan deal."