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Treacy hails Perth's influence as Dundalk eye two more trophies

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Vinny Perth. Photo: Sportsfile

Vinny Perth. Photo: Sportsfile

Vinny Perth. Photo: Sportsfile

Dundalk chairman Mike Treacy paid tribute to the club's staff for keeping the show on the road after the shock exit of Stephen Kenny.

The American was speaking in the aftermath of another title success for the Louth club, a fifth in six seasons for the Lilywhites but a first for rookie boss Vinny Perth.

In the aftermath of the game, Treacy said that preparations for next year's Champions League qualifiers start now, an indicator of the ambitions of his employer Peak6 and Dundalk's wider ownership group.

However, he praised Perth and his staff for retaining their stranglehold over the domestic game, especially in putting together a 29-match unbeaten run during a crowded fixture schedule.

"Last November we lost a legend (Kenny) but Vinny and the players stepped up right away and I knew that we would be here today," said Treacy, who has taken a hands-on approach to his job and said he had felt the strain personally after relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles to support his wife's career.

"I put so much into this club by working my a** off," he said. "I just want to make everyone in this town proud.

"We all stuck together. We never doubted ourselves.

"Since our last match with Shamrock Rovers, we have played a game every 3.8 days. We're coming out and winning every single night.

"Vinny just keeps everyone together. He has a team of coaches and analysts and he keeps everyone so strong. There is such a sense of togetherness."

Dundalk's rocky period in the season came in April, with back-to-back defeats to St Patrick's Athletic and Sligo Rovers.

First-team coach John Gill admitted on the new LOI Weekly podcast he sensed the management team felt they were under serious pressure, highlighting a late penalty awarded against Bohemians at Oriel Park as a turning point.

Gill was brought in as part of the reshuffle after Kenny's departure, with his licensing qualifications necessary for Dundalk to meet league rules that are about to be relaxed.

As Dundalk toiled against Bohs, Gill was worried.

"We were walking a gangplank. I'm a realist," said Gill. "Football is a ruthless business. There was questions about the management structure, and rightly so.

"I was under no illusions, that I was brought in because I had a Pro Licence. I said to myself, 'This isn't good'.

"I said a little prayer to my Dad who died when I was here the first time around. Dad died in 2007 and I said, 'If you're up there, do something for us'."

Daniel Kelly won an injury-time spot-kick and that sent Dundalk in the right direction. Perth is now targeting the first treble in the club's history, emulating the great Derry City side of 1989.

Trophy

And there's another trophy to aim for as they will face a cross-border clash with Irish League champions Linfield for the new Unite the Union Cup.

Sunday's FAI Cup semi-final in Sligo Rovers is next on the agenda, with the players back in work yesterday after being permitted a night out.

"I keep saying to the players that they have to be relentless," said Perth, who said that he was aware of negative commentary about his appointment.

"Because of the style of player I was I had to do it the hard way," he said.

"People said this job was easy but I think I worked bloody hard to get it. Over 10 or 11 years from coaching in the Leinster Senior League 1B to here, I'd like to think I've done it the hard way."

Irish Independent