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Thursday 23 November 2017

Fixture flurry biting Drogs says Mathews Tribe eye double take

DROGHEDA United manager Alan Mathews fears that his part-time squad are being asked to play too many games.

United play their 15th competitive game of the season tonight at home to third-placed Sporting Fingal, and last month was a most punishing time for Drogheda as they played eight games in April alone.

"It's been impossible to keep going over the last few weeks, as our results suggest," says Mathews.

"We've had games on Monday and Friday for the last couple of weeks, we played in the League Cup and Leinster Senior Cup as well and it's very hard for a club like this to manage.

"We had 10 games in 30 days. We have a threadbare squad so there is no opportunity to give players a rest and fatigue has kicked in for us with so many games.

"Players are working at their day jobs, some of them are in college, they have busy lives outside of football so it's hard to play all these matches.

"But the fixtures are there, we have to deal with them and get on as best we can. I know other clubs had a lot of games too, but we had League Cup and Leinster Cup games thrown in as well, so it makes my job as manager very difficult.

"I can't understand the rush to have all these Monday night games so early in the season."

Monday's 1-0 loss away to Bohemians was the fifth successive defeat for Drogheda and with just one win all season they need to pick up some points if they are to stay up.

"We need to get out of the trouble we're in, but we defended well for 89 minutes against Bohs on Monday and if we show the same level of commitment and desire tonight, we will get out of this mess," added Mathews.



Tribe eye double take

GALWAY United boss Sean Connor wants his side to complete a Dublin double tonight and take all three points away from the capital.

United pulled off one shock last month when they beat champions Bohemians 3-2 at Dalymount Park, and Connor wants more of the same against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.

"We just have to keep going, it will be a massive test at Rovers," said Connor. "All the pressure is going to be on them. Every time we go to a big team like Rovers or Bohs they seem to have lost, and they are on the comeback.

"Teams like that want to hit back immediately so it makes our task doubly difficult."

In recent games Galway appear to have cleared up the early season jitters. A poor defensive record (13 goals conceded in the first 10 games) has been replaced by a run of two successive clean sheets -- and in one of those games, away to Bray Wanderers, Galway didn't even have a keeper as such as No1 Barry Ryan was suspended so full-back Rhys Meynell started in goal against Bray.

"There is a willingness there to deal with adversity," added Connor. "Rhys Meynell was fantastic in goal when he went in there, the others were great too. I was delighted that Barry Ryan kept a clean sheet against Sligo, and they are all looking after each other."

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