Dundalk FC's Michael Duffy. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Dundalk FC winger Michael Duffy says his side will take confidence into Friday night's crunch SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash with third place Derry City at Oriel Park.
After a fifth successive victory at Limerick on Tuesday night, a match Candystripes boss Kenny Shiels was in attendance for, Dundalk sit clear at the top of the table, while a win on Friday would put nine points between themselves and the Foylesiders.
A native of Derry, Duffy spent three seasons with the Brandywell club before signing for Celtic in 2015 and it's a game he's looking forward to, describing the meeting as "huge".
"Derry have seven wins out of their last seven and they've been playing very well. Friday is going to be one of our toughest games this season. It's huge," Duffy told The Dundalk Democrat.
"We'll be going into Friday confident (because) everything is coming together. We had two tough games there (against Bray and Limerick) and we have dug in, not even after a poor start (to the season), but we had a lot of new players clicking together and you can see now the depth that is in our squad.
"There are a lot of players coming back and we're getting results and coming into good form.
"We only beat Derry twice last season. They beat us at the start of the year and then drew with us so they're always tough games," he added.
This weekend's match signals the start of a three-game run where The Lilywhites will face the teams who currently sit just behind them, with trips to Cork City and Waterford FC following on consecutive Fridays.
But, having won their recent fixtures against some of the league's basement dwellers, Duffy feels his side can approach the matches with confidence.
"These (Bray and Limerick) were the two tough ones. Against the bottom sides, they're always going to be tough games and now we know that we're up against the top four in the next few weeks. They're huge for us but we'll take confidence going into them because we know we're playing well," said Duffy.
Kick-off tomorrow night is 7:45pm.
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