DUNDALK centre-back Derek Foran said that it was not hard for the players to raise their game for last Friday night’s FAI Cup tie with St Patricks’ CY despite the squad being told just two days previously that there was no money available to pay their wages.
Foran and the rest of the Dundalk squad were informed of the club’s decision on Wednesday by board members Paul Johnston and Paul Kearney but they were given assurances that the matter would be resolved before Friday night’s derby with Drogheda United.
The Lilywhites went on to book their place in the 3rd round of the FAI Cup thanks to John Mountney’s strike and Foran said the players were focussed on nothing else but victory.
“It’s not easy”, he said afterwards. “There’s lads with rent, lads have holidays coming up with the mid-season break and it’s difficult but you have to get it out of your head and when the ref blows the whistle, it’s the start of another game and nothing else matters but winning. There’s no denying, it’s not great for the club but such is life.
“They (directors) said what has been in the paper, about some insurance claim that they are waiting to get. As soon as they get it, it will be sorted. They said they can’t pay this week but next week we’ll get it. It’s not the end of the world. We’ll get the wages next week and get what we’re owed.”
Foran said that the players were also told they would get paid over the mid-season break.
“Yeah, they told us that. As much as the club has to trust us players, we have to trust the club. We’re all in it together. We might not have been paid this week but we’ve told we’ll get paid next week and we have to live with that and get on with it.”
Speaking about the performance, Foran said it wasn’t a vintage display but the outcome was what Dundalk wanted.
“The result is all that matters in the FAI Cup. It’s nice to sort of get the pressure off the league because we haven’t been doing well. Obviously we’re coming off the back of a great results against St Patrick’s Athletic so it was always going to be hard to keep that level of performance and work rate up but I think we did that tonight.
“It’s tricky going into these type of games as you’re normally going into the unknown”, he added. “With Airtricity League games you watch DVDs of teams and you know their ins and outs.
“Leinster Senior League teams have noting to lose, it’s their cup final at the end of the day so it’s hard but the results is the important thing and we’re in the hat which is the main thing.”
Dundalk missed a host of chances to kill the tie off, notably when Michael Rafter blazed over with a penalty and it ensured a nervy ending for the hosts before referee Tom Connolly blew for full-time.
“When you miss chances you are always going to put yourself under pressure”, said Foran. “We coped well at the back at times, there was one or two little mistakes due to people switching off but all in all it was a solid performance”.