Longford Town go into the lion’s den this Saturday night evening when they face champions Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght stadium.
Rovers collected their 18th championship last season, although an abridged season the championship victory was questioned by some, town boss Daire Doyle isn’t one of those.
“There the best team in the country for the last 18 months” declared Doyle. “There on a very long extended unbeaten run going and their very much the best teams”.
“This is why we wanted to get promoted so much, to step up to this challenge” declared Doyle, “but at the end of the day their top league of Ireland footballers”.
“We will need to be at our best, which is what you always have to do against Shamrock Rovers”.
Town started the season very positively with a 2-0 win over Derry City and a fighting comeback against Bohemians to seal a draw.
But a Good Friday defeat to Sligo Rovers and a 4-0 thumping at home to Drogheda United last night has sent the Longford side back down to earth.
“We haven’t reacted to it massively” explained Doyle, as he tried to limit the impact of the defeat on his Longford Town side.
“What’s important is that we our consistent in our training and preparations week to week”.
“We can’t let a disappointing result get to us, we know were up against it this year, we are disappointed with the results, especially 4-0, we had plenty of chances to go ahead before their goal”.
“We had a couple of mistake for each of their goals, but we have to recognize that and work toward improving it”.
Town were always expected to be in a fight at the bottom of the table with bookmakers having them favourite for the drop and Doyle admitted this week’s game with Rovers is a huge test of every department.
“They’re a really good team, they’re very good on the ball, Burke and Madariou although they start upfront, and they tend to drop off”.
“Pressing up on them can be tricky as some of their players drop off and try to pick you off, we’re under no illusions we’re up against the best side in the country, but we will go in preparing for the game and right for the game”.
The town are without Aaron McNally who limped out of the Drogheda game early on, while Callum Warfield and Dean Byrne are still unavailable.
“We are a few players down, but this will test the depth of our squad” added Doyle.