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Rico calls for some derby day magic

DROGHEDA United boss Damien Richardson wants his players to show they are good enough to challenge league leaders - and possibly the champions-elect - Dundalk in the Louth derby tonight.

Having struggled out of the limelight for much of the season in what has been a trying year for Drogheda - they lost 11 out of 12 league games from April to June - the United players get some national exposure tonight as the live TV cameras come to United Park.

The focus and the cameras are there mainly to see Dundalk, currently six points clear at the top of the table with an astonishing goal difference (36) which is twice that of their closest challengers.

But Drogheda's players have shown in the last weeks that they have something about them, winning away to Shamrock Rovers and then trouncing UCD 4-0, their biggest league win since 2009.

"I would love to see a similar style of performance as last week against what is the best side in the league," said manager Richardson of this clash with Dundalk.

"The players are starting to realise that they are capable of special performances, both individually and collectively, but what they need to augment is the individual demands that they place on themselves. That is imperative when the opposition is of a higher class like Dundalk.

"Dundalk mix the game up well; they can go long to their centre forwards but they also play good football. Above all else, I think it is their excellent work ethic that makes them such an strong side but not many clubs like coming to Drogheda. The tight pitch and the close proximity of the crowd makes it a very special place and we must make it a fortress," added Richardson.

For Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny's it's a case of asking for more of the same after last week's win in Cork.

"It was a dramatic win last week at Turner's Cross over Cork City. It was a great win for us and to strike so late in the game was important for us but it is another three points. It was a continuation of our terrific run of form. The players have been fantastic and last Friday was another example of that," he says.