He has already played in a Setanta and EA Sports Cup final this season but Dundalk striker Patrick Hoban is relishing the chance to play in the biggest game of them all, the title decider against Cork City this Friday night.
Hoban spoke to The Dundalk Democrat following the 1-1 draw in Bray on Friday night. The result saw Dundalk lose their spot at the top of the table for the first time since May 2 but you certainly wouldn’t have gathered that from Hoban’s demeanour.
“It’s the biggest game that anybody could want to play in,” he said. “Everybody is going to be looking forward to it and I can’t wait to play in it.
“This is the kind of game that you dream about playing in as a child. You dream about scoring a goal to win the league. Cork City are in our way but but that’s all that’s in our heads, winning the league.
“There won’t be any negativity,” he added. “We will approach training full on this week and stay positive because, at the end of the day, we have beaten Cork City twice already this season.
I don’t want to be disrespectful to them because they have stayed with us all of the way and they are top of the league but I feel we are the better side. It’s up to us to prove that now.”
Anything less than a victory will see the SSE Airtricity League title head to Munster and Hoban said that that will suit the Dundalk players and their approach to the game.
“They only need a point but we have to win and maybe that might stand to us better than them. Even if we had won tonight and were a point clear going into Friday night, we wouldn’t have been sitting back for a draw, that’s not the way we play.
“We have to approach it the same way we’ve approached every game this year.”
The one positive that emerged from a forgettable night in Bray was the striker’s 20th league goal of the season.
Hoban’s half-volley means he now holds the record for the amount of top flight goals in a season but he said that would mean nothing if he doesn’t have a league medal draped around his neck on Friday night.
“It wouldn’t bother me at all if I had no goals and we won the league,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter as long as I have a league medal and a league trophy to lift at the end of it. I’d swap everything in the world for that.
“Dundalk as a town needsto get behind us,” he added. “We will hopefully win on Friday night and the whole town will be celebrating with us.”