Kenny thrilled by display of new signings

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny talks tactics with assistant Vinny Perth
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny felt that Friday night’s friendly with Barnsley was a ‘very good workout’ for his team as they continue their build up to the start of the Airtricity League season.

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny felt that Friday night’s friendly with Barnsley was a ‘very good workout’ for his team as they continue their build up to the start of the Airtricity League season.

The Tykes won the game 4-1 but Kenny said he was delighted with the performance of his side who returned to pre-season training just 10 days earlier.

“The game came on us quite quickly but it was a very good workout for us”, he stated. “In the first-half we were excellent and I couldn’t believe we were 2-1 down because we played all the football and Barnsley created very little chances.

“In the second-half we ran out of steam a bit and they were better. That’s understandable. They’re in the middle of their season whereas we’re only back but some of the football we played was terrific.”

Richie Towell carried on where he left off at the the end of last season by hitting the net for Dundalk’s opening goal and Kenny feels that goals will become a regular feature of the midfielder’s game.

“Richie scored a great goal. It looks like anytime he plays in that advanced role of the three in midfield he is going to score. You’d fancy him to score in every game.”

The Dundalk boss was also delighted with debutantes Daryl Horgan and, in particular, 21-year-old right-back Sean Gannon.

“Daryl Horgan had an outstanding debut,” said Kenny. “The quickness of his feet and his brain, you just don’t get that level of wing play. It’s rare. When you get it, you have to appreciate it.

“Sean Gannon also had a really good debut,” he added. “He can really open his legs with pace going forward. He is a natural footballer. He will improve and and he might surprise one or two.”

The only downside of the night came when Stephen O’Donnell limped off after tweaking a hamstring after seven minutes although Kenny said that was more precaution than necessity.

David McMillan missed the game as he was booked in for a hospital procedure while Brian Gartland is set to return to action next week after recovering from an operation on a broken nose.

Keith Ward is due to have a test this week on his knee recovery and with no further acquisitions to be made, Kenny said he was happy with the make-up of his squad.

“I’m happy with the balance. We don’t have an orthodox left-back if Dane Massey gets injured but we have players who can play there so we are reasonably covered.”