POSITIVITY is the name of the game for Dundalk striker Barry Conlon as the Lilywhites face Waterford United in a two legged relegation play-off that will shape the club’s future.
The 34-year-old Carrickmacross man scored Dundalk’s winner in the 2-1 win over Bray Wanderers on Friday night, securing the team their first league win in 19 outings.
And Conlon hopes that the confidence gained from that will see Dundalk through the play-off which sees them play the first-leg at Oriel Park on Tuesday night, followed by the return leg at the RSC three days later.
“It’s a wee bit late but it’s a nice feeling to get a win and hopefully that’s the start of a good week for us”, says Conlon.
“I think we can beat Waterford”, he adds. “There’s no point in walking round thinking negatively and there’s no point worrying about them. It’s good for the changing room to get a result going into Tuesday. I’m positive and I hope I can bring some of that to the younger lads.”
Conlon’s career started in 1996 when he joined Queens Park Rangers as a 17-year-old. 16 clubs later, he finds himself at Oriel Park. It is a lengthy CV and there is one thing that he is proud not to have attached to his name: relegation.
“I’ve been in relegation dogfights and have been lucky enough to come through them all”, he says. “Hopefully that will continue.
“It’s good to be involved here”, he maintains. “It’s not the best of times for the club but it’s a big week for us and I’m looking forward to it.
“Hopefully on Friday night when the full-time whistle blows after the second-leg I’ll have enjoyed my time here been more.”
Conlon’s robust style offers Dundalk an alternative to the Michael Rafter/Marc Griffin partnership and he is hoping to get the call from Darius Kierans to start on Tuesday.
“I’m always hoping to start. I’ve a bit of fitness sunder my belt and I really want to start big games like this.
“We’ll have to unsettle them all over the park, from Peter Cherrie all through the team”, he adds. “I’d like to think I could add my own little bit to that. Everybody needs to pull together and if we do that then I feel we’ll be okay.”