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Sunday 25 September 2016

Mikey Drennan hits high notes at right time for Rovers

Striker impresses in front of O'Neill

BAD timing meant that Irish striker Mikey Drennan never got the chance to work with Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa, as O'Neill left his post at the club a month before Drennan joined their academy.

But the current Ireland senior team boss is certainly aware of Kilkenny lad Drennan now. O'Neill was in the Tallaght Stadium audience on Friday night as Drennan scored two goals to help Shamrock Rovers come from 2-0 down and earn a draw against champions Dundalk, a night of controversy which saw the Dundalk keeper (Gary Rogers) and Rovers assistant boss (Glenn Cronin) sent off.

O'Neill left before the end of the game and Drennan, who joined Rovers from Villa in January, jokes that that decision may have been good for him as O'Neill will have missed a skied effort from Drennan which would have given him a hat-trick and a win for Rovers.

"It's good that he was there on Friday," says Drennan as Rovers, still four points behind leaders Dundalk, travel to face Bray Wanderers tonight.

"You need to get noticed, the League of Ireland is getting good players in, you see the internationals that are playing here, so it's good that Martin is coming to the games."

Having come off the bench in the first two games of the season, Drennan's kept his place in the starting XI since and has delivered four goals in six starts, the U21 cap proud of his role in Friday's fightback.

"It was good for us to come back from 2-0 down, we showed good character to come back, and hopefully we can put it right against Bray tonight and get the three points," says Drennan.

Meanwhile, Dundalk will regroup for tonight's game at home to Galway United, with Gabriel Sava due to start in goal in place of the suspended Rogers, the Dundalk camp insisting that the decision to dismiss Rogers on Friday was the wrong one.

"We are disappointed to lose the 2-0 lead and drop points but we're ready to work hard for the next game tonight," says keeper Sava.

"There's a big rivalry between us and Rovers, Friday was a tough game but we have to put it behind us and make sure we get a win against Galway to set us up for that big game in Cork on Friday."

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