DUNDALK manager Sean McCaffrey is expecting a physical battle when his side go looking for their first win of the 2012 season against Drogheda United at Hunky Dory’s Park on Friday night.
The sides have already met this season with the Boynesiders winning the Malone Cup in a spiky encounter at the same venue in February and McCaffrey anticipates it will be no different this time around.
“It will be a different type of game than the one we had against St Pat’s, that’s for sure”, he said.
“We will be playing on a tight pitch and it’s not a particularly good surface. They are very direct so we will see what happens. The ball will come off black and blue and we probably will too!”
Both sides go into the game on the back of very different results. The Drogs overturned a two goal deficit to beat Cork City 3-2 at Turner’s Cross last Friday night with former Dundalk player Tiarnan Mulvenna on target.
In contrast, a poor display by the Lilywhites saw them fall to a 2-0 defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park. It leaves them with just one point from their opening two games but McCaffrey said he was unconcerned.
“I think we’ve got plenty of good players, but it’s just going to take a bit of time for things to gel and for players to understand. I think it will be 10-12 matches before they all find their feet at this level and show a bit of form.
“I’m not concerned about league positions or anything like that at the moment. They support was very good and very positive, during and after the St Pat’s match but we have to win a couple of games, we know that” he said.
Dundalk will be again without the services of captain Chris Shields who is missing through injury while Brazilian defender Hernanay Macedo is still awaiting a work permit.
“It’s going to take a couple of weeks for Chris Shields to come back. When he does return he will be a big influence. Likewise when we get Hernany in, they will make a big difference to the spine of the team”, said McCaffrey.