DUNDALK first-team coach Vinny Perth felt that his side’s hard work in pre-season came to fruition in their Airtricity League opener against Shamrock Rovers on Friday night.
The Lilywhites earned a well deserved point against the title favourites despite finishing the game with ten men and Perth said it was a great platform to build on ahead of the visit to Tolka Park on Friday.
“Considering that’s their third competitive match and this was in effect our first, I thought our fitness levels looked really good and pre-season has paid off”, he said.
“We’ve a few areas of improvement and that’s positive. We have to kick on now. That was an easy game to get up for but we have a big one now coming up against Shelbourne on Friday. It’s about what we do in the next few weeks and not just tonight.”
One of the pleasing features of Dundalk’s performance was their willingness to play football from the back, a tactic that impressed many in attendance.
“We’ve got people who want to play and all the staff want the team to play football”, said Perth. “I think if you’re brave - you see the likes of Richie Towell who wasn’t afraid to step out with the ball - then that’s the way football should be played.
“We have instilled that into them”, he added. “We want them to be brave. Some nights it will pay off, some it won’t. I think we played more football than Shamrock Rovers tonight. They are favourites for the title and it’s a major positive that we can say that.
“The crowd were excellent tonight. I think they appreciate what we are trying to do. If I go to a football game and somebody falls over the ball trying to do the right thing then I can handle that.”