Longford Town boss Daire Doyle: 'I expect it to be a really exciting run-in'Mon, Sep 07 2020
Andrew Dempsey reports from Tallaght Stadium
Longford Town boss Daire Doyle admits he is relishing what is set to be one of the most exciting First Division promotion hunts in recent history.
Longford moved level on points with Cabinteely on Friday evening – a result that now means there is only two points separating the top five teams in the division.
“It’s really competitive at the moment,” Doyle told extratime.com. “You have Cobh right on the heels of everyone as well so I’m expecting there to be mixed results between teams.
“Any team that can put in a run of wins in the next few games is really going to have a chance of kicking on that little bit.
“I expect it to be a really exciting run-in and there will be some really close games.”
Longford’s rise up the table comes days after Dean Byrne’s long-awaited return from injury and an altered tactical shape for De Town.
“After the Cobh game we had eight days so we had three to four full on sessions preparing for our new style of play and the new demands that would place on the players,” he added.
“We had the few days leading into the Shamrock Rovers II game as well to prepare this shape and it’s something that we’ve been working really hard on.
“It bore its fruits with our first goal (on Friday) and we made it really difficult for them to play out.
“It’s like a new signing for us with Dean (Byrne) coming back. He’s one of the best players in the league and it gives everybody a lift.
“We’re delighted to have Dean back. He’s had 130 minutes in his legs over the week. We’re really happy with Dean and we’re expecting him to be a big player for us in the run-in.”
However, Doyle is remaining level-headed despite an upturn in recent form for Town: “That’s the nature of football where you have a week with two defeats when you were down and low and then you have another week when you’re right back up there.
“That’s where it’s important that you don’t get carried away with either (the highs or the lows). It’s difficult at time but it’s useful at times if you can find some sort of middle ground to not get carried away.”
The recently appointed Longford boss finished: “We possibly think it may be too soon for Sam (Verdon) to come back next week (for the Drogheda game).
“He had a tear in his calf so we’re just waiting to see the grade of it at the moment. It may be one or two weeks or if it’s worse it could be an added week or two.
“It’s something that will hopefully be just another ten days, but we’ll see. When he does come back however, he will be another player that will add to the group.”