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Youths are not scared of Hoops invasion


Shane Keegan. Photo: Sportsfile

Shane Keegan. Photo: Sportsfile

Shane Keegan. Photo: Sportsfile

Taking on an in-form side managed by Pat Fenlon who are also the country's most successful club is one of tasks that Wexford Youths signed up for in their first season as a top flight club.

And, having possibly done better than expected in the first round of games in the top flight, Wexford say they are ready for what comes at they when the Hoops make their first visit to Ferrycarrig Park for a league game tonight.

With six straight wins, Dundallk are the form side of the league, just ahead of Cork (five wins on the trot) but Rovers are chipping away at the top two, Fenlon's side on a run of three wins - and three clean sheets - from their last three outings.

That scoring form should be a concern for a Youths side who have kept just one clean sheet in 13 games overall this season but Wexford boss Shane Keegan says his players are eager to try and match the Hoops.

"Shamrock Rovers have one of the most talented playing squads in the league, but tonight they will be just another team that we believe we are capable of taking on, and giving a real fight," says Keegan, enthused by his side's display away to Rovers when the Dubliners had to ground out a 2-0 win.


"Our performance in Tallaght showed that while we respect them, we won't fear them. Barry Murphy was in inspired form that night and the lads are looking forward to having another crack at them."

Wexford had a good start to the week with a 4-2 defeat of Longford Town, the first win in six games.

"Tuesday night's victory in Longford was a great result. We played some super football at times and the work rate was through the roof. If anybody doubted the belief or commitment of these lads then they got their answer. We had a tough couple of weeks but then that was always going to be the case," added Keegan.

Gary McCabe has played a big role in Rovers' successes of late, boss Fenlon happy to give the long-serving McCabe a more advanced role in a season where he's missed just one game, through suspension.

"Gary can play anywhere, but he's a good footballer and one thing that he does is finish, what's why we want to get him further up the pitch," says manager Fenlon, pleased to see midfielder McCabe deliver two goals in Tuesday's win over Sligo Rovers.

"When we have Killian Brennan, Patrick Cregg and Stephen McPhail fit, it gives us the opportunity to play Gary higher up the pitch," he added.