Perth: We tried to play the football against the Hoops

Padraig Whelan

Reporter:

Padraig Whelan

Perth: We tried to play the football against the Hoops
Dundalk first team coach Vinny Perth believes his side were the only team which looked to play football in their 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght.

Dundalk first team coach Vinny Perth believes his side were the only team which looked to play football in their 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght.

That result means that the Lilywhites are now unbeaten in five against their old Dublin enemies, with four of those games ending in Dundalk victories.

“I thought we were very good given that it was a different type of performance from us,” he said when speaking afterwards. “We went a bit more direct and had to be very patient.

“At half time a few of the lads were disappointed in themselves and we had to keep them calm and just tell them we can win this second half.

“We knew we had a bit of quality which could kick in and I think it did while they were relying on a set piece or something which didn’t come and we defended them off well.”

He admitted: “When teams set up against you like this where they are not expansive and don’t try and play, in many ways it plays into your hands because they are showing that bit of weakness and again I felt we were the team that tried to do the right things.”

Perth was also full of praise for the man who delivered the goods on 66 minutes, Patrick Hoban pouncing to prod home a back post pass.

The striker has been in a frenzy of late with his eagerness to get game time since returning from a meniscus injury that laid him out for three weeks last month.

“Our goal was a well-worked one and I felt we could have had a couple more with some of Richie’s chances but what Pat has done recently has been phenomenal.

“He has come off a very serious operation but has been buzzing for the past 10 days and we have had to be easy on him because he has been like a caged animal wanting to get back out there and was so desperate to play.

“He has been a credit to Paul Cheshire and Samir in the backroom staff. Premier League clubs with all their resources would struggle to get him back as quick as they have so they deserve huge credit.”

One man who really caught the eye was Dundalk debutant Donal McDermott who came off the bench and played a key role in the win, showing some neat touches on the ball and looks like he could be another shrewd signing from Stephen Kenny.

“In the past 7 or 10 days, we have really started to see Donal’s quality,” the former Malahide United boss said. “To be fair to people in possession of the jersey too, Kurtis Byrne’s performance in the first half against Jeunesse was probably his best ever for us.

“We have real strength in depth and the bench in Tallaght was as strong as it has been for weeks. It isn’t just Donal, there is John Mountney is chomping at the bit to play, Ruaidhri Higgins has real quality, Marc Griffin has been training phenomenally well and defenders of real quality in Simon Kelly and Mark Rossiter on the bench too so it looks good for us.”

With that huge domestic game safely tucked under their belts, once more The Town’s attentions return to European action and Thursday’s visit of Hajduk Split.

The hectic schedule that sees his side playing twice in a week is not something that worries Perth too much though. In fact, he welcomes it with open arms.

“We seem to have been playing every three or four days a lot this year with the Setanta Cup earlier, the League Cup and Europe so it is not a problem to us with our fitness levels.

“If having to play Hajduk Split on Thursday night is a big headache then I want a few more of those headaches over the coming months.

“We are putting Dundalk back on the map and need to be playing these nights with more regularity and have to build on this,” he emphasised.

“I have the DVDs of Hajduk to look at but will only get a chance to look at them now after the Rovers game because at this club, we only focus on one game at a time. Rovers was too big a game to be sidetracked by Split.

“But now we will prepare for them as best we can.”