AFTER enduring a frustrating season at Bohemians last year, Mark Quigley was back doing what he does best at Windsor Park on Monday night – scoring goals.
The former Millwall and St Patrick’s Athletic man helped himself to a brace of stunning efforts to help his side to a memorable 5-3 win over Linfield in the Setanta Cup First Round First Leg tie and speaking afterwards, Quigley said it was great to be back amongst the goals.
“It’s good to be back playing up front. I was stuck on the left wing at Bohemians last year and only got five goals. Ian has given me confidence by playing me up front. I probably wasn’t first choice at Bohs but Ian looks as though he’ll give me a go here and if I have a bad game he’ll stick by me. That lifts any player.”
“My fitness is not where I want it to be. I’ve missed two weeks of pre-season with some internal bleeding on an ulcer so I’m catching up but very training session and game is making me feel better. Scoring two tonight also helps.”
Like most people present on the night, Quigley reserved special praise for hat-trick hero Daniel Kearns.
“There’s a lot of really good young players in the squad and that was one of the main reasons I came here. They have a lot of potential and they certainly showed that tonight.
“Danny’s a special player. I played against him last year and thought he was a talented player but working with him first hand in training you can really see how good he is. For a wide man to score a hat-trick away from home says an awful lot about him. Sometimes players with ability and tricks like his don’t have the work rate to match but he has it and he has a really bright future.”
With five away goals in the bag, Dundalk go into the Second Leg at Oriel Park on February 28 as red hot favourites to progress. Quigley though, said he was taking nothing for granted.
“It’s a great result but the tie is certainly not over. It’s only half time. You look at what happened to Arsenal a couple of weeks ago and you can see that it’s not over. Linfield are a quality side. They don’t win as many leagues as they do by being poor. We cant take anything for granted but hopefully with another two weeks training under our belt we can push on and get through to the next round.”