Tuesday 12 December 2017

Cup date no burden for the medal-chasing McEleney

Dundalk's Patrick McEleney
Dundalk's Patrick McEleney

No rest for the weary as Dundalk, adrenaline still flowing from Thursday night's heroics in the Europa League, enter battle again tomorrow.

Under normal circumstances, Patrick McEleney would be happy to see his former side, and home-town club, Derry City go all the way in the FAI Cup, but seeing as City stand between Dundalk and another appearance in the final, the classy midfielder is ready to do battle again tomorrow in the semi-final.

If Dundalk do go all the way, they would have to play the final next month just three days after an away trip to Russia in the Europa League, but that suits McEleney.

"We'd rather be in this position than be out of the Cup so you won't hear us complaining," McEleney says ahead of the home semi-final against Derry.

"It would be the same if we do get to the final, we'd only be getting home from St Petersburg early on the Friday morning and would have to play a Cup final on the Sunday but we will deal with that, if and when it comes, we have to look to the semi first.

"We are Cup holders and we want to keep the trophy. Europe is big for us, the league is big for us, but so is winning the double, we will do all we can to get past City and into the final.

"I am a Derry lad and I would still see myself as a Derry City supporter, but not this weekend, I really want to get to the Aviva. Maccabi on Thursday was great for us, a brilliant win that really puts the League of Ireland on the map, but we've already moved on and are looking to Derry," added McEleney, a fan of City boss Kenny Shiels.

"They have done really well under Kenny this season, we beat them in OrielPark the other week but they played really well against us that night and there's no way we will underestimate them."

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