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Re-start Club Preview: Wexford

Fri, Jul 31 2020

Wexford manager Brian O'Sullivan has sought to change the culture at the club and has seen earlier results. Credit: Steve Alfred (ETPhotos)

Club: Wexford

Manager: Brian O’Sullivan

Highest league goalscorer:

Current position: 8th

 

How we thought they would do for the 2020 season

The extratime.com staff here close to unanimous in their belief that Wexford would prop up the table, as they would have last year had Limerick not been docked 26 points for going into examinership.

Brian O’Sullivan recruited well in the off-season, however, with Dan Tobin the most eye-catching of a quartet of ex-UCD players making the move to Ferrycarrig Park.

 

How they did in the opening part of the season

Impressive draws at home to UCD and Galway bookended a 2-0 defeat away to Bray Wanderers as O’Sullivan’s new-look side proved a much more solid outfit in the opening stages than they had at any point last season.

A clean sheet in the most recent game with Galway will have been especially pleasing for a manager who saw his side concede a divisional high 65 goals last season.

A heartbreaking EA Sports Cup exit at the hands of Bray, having led until deep into injury time, further underlines how much they have improved.

 

Moment of the season so far

Conor English’s 89th-minute equaliser to rescue a point against relegated UCD on the opening day was as spectacular as it was important for a side who have often played nice football without getting the rewards for their endeavours.

To be able to hold one of the pre-season favourites on the opening day will have given O’Sullivan’s side the confidence they can compete with anyone on their day.

Stand out player so far this season

Conor English looks set to be the key man for Wexford this season and, while his goal on the opening day is the only one he’s got so far, the Kilkenny man looks primed to become the main man in Brian O’Sullivan’s side.

He has carried his early season form through to the pre-restart friendlies with a star turn in the recent defeat to Premier Division leaders Shamrock Rovers.

Transfers in/out prior to the restart

In: Jack Doherty (Longford Town), Ola Ademayo (Lewes).

Out: Paul Cleary (End of loan).

 

What they need to do in the restart

Wexford just need to carry on their early-season form but a trip to an Athlone Town side who look to have improved immeasurably from last season will be a big challenge.

Speaking to extratime.com earlier in the week, O’Sullivan said the focus this year has been on building a new culture in the club but progress on the pitch will be a good benchmark of where they are.

 

Where we see them finishing

Wexford can realistically aim to finish in the top eight, but anywhere near the middle of the table will represent immediate progress for the group.

 

Who will they face in the FAI Cup?

Wexford were handed a bye in the first round.

 

First post-lockdown league fixture

Away v Athlone Town (Friday, August 1st, 7.45pm).