Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny. Picture: Ciaran Culligan.

Kenny hails his players after vital win

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny hailed his players after the 3–1 win in Limerick which leaves the Lilywhites just one win away from claiming back to back titles for the first time in the club’s history.

Kenny’s side fell behind to an early Dean Clarke goal but they responded like champions, scoring three goals in the space of six minutes, to take a huge step towards the championship.

“It was a great result and I’m very pleased. It was a very poor start to concede like that so we had to dust ourselves down,” said Kenny

“You need different parts of your team to make key contributions and that’s what happened tonight.

“Gary Rogers made a fantastic save from Ian Turner at the start of the second half. That’s the thing when you are a Dundalk goalkeeper, you don’t have to make five or six saves in a match like some goalkeepers do and look good.

“For long periods you might not be involved and then you have to make a crucial save and that’s what he did. It was a super save.

“As well as that, I thought all of our substitutes made an impression,” he added. “Stephen O’Donnell was outstanding, John Mountney was lively and Ciaran Kilduff was very good, he made a big impact.”

Kenny also reserved special praise for Richie Towell who created a new Dundalk record by scoring his 21st league goal of the season.

“Richie is very special player. That’s an amazing feat and he deserves huge credit for it.”

The win at the Markets Field means that Dundalk can secure the title with victory in their next league game — away to Shamrock Rovers.

Kenny, though, is refusing to look past next Friday’s FAI Cup semi-final tie with Longford Town and with one trophy almost in the bag, he is now eyeing up a double!

“We have an FAI Cup semi final to look forward to and getting to the Aviva Stadium is our focus now.

“Our home games against Longford this season have been 1–0 and nil all so it will be a tough game.

“They have lads up front who are physically imposing and experienced players like Mark Rossiter and others who have played and won trophies with Shamrock Rovers.

“They’re a good team and I’m sure they’ll have a game plan where they are difficult to break down so we’ll have to make sure we are right.

“I’ve been involved in FAI Cup finals in Tolka Park, in the RDS and at the Aviva in Lansdowne Road. There is no doubt that Lansdowne Road is the most special.

“It’s a final in the national stadium and everybody wants to be there but Longford are no different and they have a good cup pedigree so we’ve got to go and do ourselves justice.”