Thursday 14 December 2017

In-form Faherty seeks favours

Vinny Faherty is the August Player of the Month
Vinny Faherty is the August Player of the Month
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Limerick's stunning revival has added thrills and spills to the Premier Division relegation battle and arguably cost two managers their jobs.

John McDonnell (Drogheda) and Peter Hutton (Derry) parted company with their clubs after they slipped back into the mire, with five wins from six games for Limerick making the dreaded automatic drop a possibility for every club in the bottom half of the table.

Tonight, interim Derry boss Paul Hegarty takes the reins for the arrival of Shamrock Rovers. It was a home loss to new Drogheda manager Mark Kinsella a fortnight ago that spelled the end for Hutton, and the former Irish international faces a sterner test tonight as he takes his side up the M1 for a Louth derby with runaway leaders Dundalk.

The likely scenario is a triumph for Stephen Kenny's men that will offer encouragement to Limerick on the eve of their crucial clash with Bray which gives the Shannonsiders the chance to climb off bottom spot.

In-form striker Vinny Faherty has been central to their turnaround and the Galwegian, who was yesterday named SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month for August, admits that he's been studying the permutations ahead of a Friday night of rest.

"I've been looking at our run in and the run in of other teams and trying to see who will drop points," he said. "The thing about the league is that anyone can beat anyone.

"We have scored 20 goals in our last six games so it has been quite a turnaround. I can't really put my finger on why or what exactly happened but it's been terrific. I'm more surprised at the 17 games that it took us to win one. That was incredible.

"Our perspective changed. Now, we think every game is winnable."

Faherty has spoken to pals at his old club Galway who have acknowledged that they have started to look over their shoulder a bit. They are just four ahead of Martin Russell's resurgent group and don't play in the league this weekend because they're preparing for an EA Sports Cup final with St Patrick's Athletic tomorrow.

Skipper Paul Sinnott has described that encounter as the "biggest game of the season" for his employers - a stance he may need to review if results go against them.

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