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Finn focus on big show


Ronan Finn. Pic: Sportsfile

Ronan Finn. Pic: Sportsfile

Ronan Finn. Pic: Sportsfile

After a very good weekend on the domestic front, Dundalk already have their European mindset in place as they gear up for Thursday's historic clash with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Dublin

Stephen Kenny's side have a few days now to prepare for their first-ever home game in the group stages of the Europa League, against Israeli league leaders Maccabi, who were in action in their local derby last night.

Dundalk were in buoyant mood on Friday night after they came from behind to win 3-1 at home to Derry City. Daryl Horgan in outstanding form for the champions.

And their title defence enjoyed another boost on Saturday night when second-placed Cork City dropped points in their bid to make up ground on Dundalk, Cork drawing 0-0 away to Sligo Rovers.

City are now seven points behind Dundalk, but with a game in hand.

But the focus for Dundalk moves on to Thursday's visit of Maccabi, a side managed by former Georgia star Shota Arveladze. "It's exciting times for the club and the result in Alkmaar really keeps the buzz going," says Dundalk midfielder Ronan Finn.

"We are realistically looking at this game as one where we can put points on the board. We know these won't be easy games but we have shown in the last few European matches that we can compete, the bigger the occasion the more we stand up,"

Cork ended their four-game winning streak in the league with that draw in Sligo, but boss John Caulfield feels the title race is still open. "We intend to push it right to the end and we still believe there could be a twist in the run-in to this campaign," says Caulfield, his side in action tomorrow at home to Galway.