DUNDALK manager Stephen Kenny has urged all Lilywhites supporters to come out in force and make it a carnival atmosphere at Oriel Park tonight as his unbeaten side entertain reigning champions Sligo Rovers.
The 41-year-old paid tribute to the fans who made the trip to Tolka Park for Dundalk’s 3-1 win over Shelbourne on Friday night and he is hoping that many more will come through the gate at the Carrick Road venue for the mouth watering clash with Ian Baraclough’s side.
“We’re unbeaten and we’re right up there”, said Kenny. “We had good support in Tolka but one thing I would like to see is more flags. I was looking over and I was thinking ‘where are the big flags?’. We need more of them out.
“We had a passionate crowd last week against Shamrock Rovers and it was great. Sometimes midweek games don’t get the same crowds for various reasons but it would be great to get a big crowd in there to get behind us.”
Goals from John Dillon, Stephen O’Donnell and John Mountney gave Dundalk their first win on the road and with four points from an available six already banked, Kenny insists his side will not be daunted by the prospect of facing the best side in the country.
“They’re the champions but the way we are approaching every game is to try and win it”, said Kenny. “We will not be trying to contain them. We are capable of causing them problems. Our ambition is to try and win every game, I’m not saying we will but that will be our ambition. We’ll be taking them on with a view to beating them.”
Confidence is high in the Dundalk camp following the victory in Tolka and Kenny, who travelled to the west coast on Saturday to take in Sligo’s 3-0 win over Bray Wanderers, is hoping to build on that with another positive result against the Bit O’Red.
“Psychologically it was a big result against Shels”, he said. “We have a lot of young players. If we had lost that game we were going into the Sligo game with one point from six. Instead we are going into it and we’re looking up.”
Key to Dundalk’s hopes will be the performances of their midfielders. O’Donnell, Dillon and substitute Mountney all bagged their first league goals for Dundalk on Friday night and Kenny said that was exactly the contribution he wanted.
“We scored three goals which is terrific. Keith Ward did brilliantly to win the penalty and John Dillon tucked it away. Stephen O’Donnell has been scoring headers in pre-season, he’s not noted for them, but he got another one and then John Mountney gets his first league goal for Dundalk. There’s a lot of firsts there.
“People were asking where we would get our goals from but they will be spread throughout the team. Three midfielders scored against Shelbourne and that is what you want, rather than relying on an individual to do it.”