Kick off in Weavers Park is at 7.45 pm. The ticket allocation for away supporters is now SOLD OUT. The match will be streamed live on LOITV.

Last Friday saw a really disappointing 0-2 home defeat to Shelbourne. It seemed whatever could go wrong, went wrong with two penalties conceded, the first after we’d totally dominated the opening twenty minutes, then losing three players to injury before halftime and Roberto Lopes’ red for the second penalty early second half. It was a difficult 90 minutes.

“Yes it was, but when you looked at the performance as a whole, I thought we were really good, to be honest. We couldn’t have asked much more from the players. First thirty minutes we were brilliant, should’ve been two or three up, but then we had all the disruptions. We gave away a really poor first goal with the penalty when Josh ducked when he should just head the ball. Then we had the injury disruptions after that which slowed and changed the rhythm of the game. Second half we took control of the game again, but we sloppily gave them another penalty, by playing them in on goal when we had clean possession. We had spoken at halftime, that was their only way into the game. So that was really disappointing, but I thought when you take away the two goals we gave away, considering everything that happened, I thought the players were really good. We controlled the game, created good chances, more chances against Shelbourne than we have done for quite some time. On another day we score two or three goals and even with the two penalties, sending off and the three injuries, we still should’ve got something out of the game. I think that’s testament to the players, their attitude, application and quality was really good all night. Many teams would’ve felt sorry for themselves or downed tools when everything was happening, going down to ten men, but the players responded really well. Take away the two errors, we were really good.”

How has the mood been in the group this week since that game? Did they feel certain big moments or incidents just turned it away from us and that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves for the loss?

“Again, we have to understand whether we win, lose or draw, we review it quickly, understand it, and move on. When you lose, you learn a lot. We don’t just brush over it and pretend it didn’t happen, we’ve lost the game for a reason, and we need to understand why, and try to ensure it doesn’t happen again. But the mood has been ok, the players aren’t silly, they know that overall we performed really well, when we went down to ten we created really good opportunities. So it’s about understanding what happened and what went wrong, then thinking 90% was really positive and to understand that also.”

The upcoming games away to Galway United and home to Bohemians are postponed due to international call-ups. Are you relieved about this given the new injuries or might fixture congestion worry you as the season rolls on?

“There’s no doubt those postponed games need to be thrown in at some point, but there’s nothing we can do about that. There’s nothing we can do about international call-ups, we have them and that’s the way it goes and the way it’s always been in the league. Ideally, would everyone like to play regardless of internationals, of course you would. But we have four missing, so it is what it is. So we’ll focus on Drogheda tomorrow and look after the postponed games when they come.”

We travel to Drogheda United this weekend, a venue we’ve struggled at in the last few seasons. Can you put the finger on why that has been the case?

“I think when you look at the end result, people will come to that conclusion. We also look at what we’ve created in those games. Sometimes you’re half a yard or a block away from winning games, so we don’t get dragged into that talk. We focus on what we do, it’ll be the same tomorrow. We’re coming off the back of a really good win over Drogheda in Tallaght, so we’ll just focus on what we do.  We know it will be difficult, Drogheda are a good side when they’re on it. Last week (away to Waterford), they were 2-0 up and will feel they should win the game. So we know they’re dangerous, we know what they have so we’ll go there, respect them and go to win the game.”

We lost Dan Cleary, Trevor Clarke and Josh Honohan in the first half last Friday. How are they and the other recent injury absences?

“Dan, Trevor and Josh are out. Josh has a concussion, he’s been at a specialist this week, and the specialist isn’t happy. Josh has still been feeling dizzy this week, he hasn’t been himself so when it’s something like that with the head, you can’t cut any corners. You have to be really careful and we need to think of the welfare of Josh. Pico Lopes is suspended, but we have Dylan Watts and Richie Towell back, Seán Hoare and Rory Gaffney are just there, tomorrow might be too early for them but we’ll check. Darragh Burns will go to London during the week to see a specialist, so it’ll be another couple of weeks for Darragh.”