Longford are seeking just their second win of the season when they welcome champions Shamrock Rovers to Bishopsgate on Saturday afternoon (kick off 4pm).
Town have lost three in a row in the league but face a Rovers side that have just one point from their last three games.
The two clubs faced each other in the First Division last year when the Rovers II side competed in the second tier but you have to go back to 2007 to a game in Tallaght for Town’s last league win over the Hoops first team (and it is 2005 since their last Premier Division home win over Rovers).
Daire Doyle’s men are just one point above Waterford who prop up the Premier Division table and after Friday’s fixtures De Town trail a trio of clubs by ten points (Derry, Dundalk and a Bohs side who face Waterford at home on Saturday).
A win or indeed a point would at least leave Longford in a better frame of mind going into the mid-season break.
Fans will be returning to grounds across the League of Ireland soon, in small numbers at first, and De Town will want to stay in contact with the teams above them for when they will get the boost of supporters backing them on their return to Bishopsgate.
Having been invincible in the league last year, gone on the longest unbeaten run in the history of the League of Ireland, the last week has seen the Hoops lose twice – first away to Dundalk and then at home to Sligo.
They haven’t lost three in a row in the league since April 2018 and they will be focused on getting three points against second from bottom Longford so that the can cut the deficit to league leaders Sligo Rovers to just a point going into the break.
The Hoops were unlucky to lose to the Lilywhites but it was a poor enough performance against the Bit O’ Red on Monday.
“The players have been brilliant for two years and we've had a bad week,” admitted Hoops Head Coach Stephen Bradley speaking on the eve of the game in Longford. “That's football, that's what happens. We move on and get on with it.
"We're very disappointed because there was nothing in the game,” said Bradley about losing to Sligo at home – their first home league defeat since June 2019.
“Neither team created any clear-cut chances. It had all the hallmarks of a draw really, but we gave away a really poor goal and Sligo go and take three points. Their goal is offside, there's no doubt about that but it's not about the officials.
“They're going to get some decisions wrong, you have to accept that. We still made really bad mistakes leading up to the goal so it's not about the officials. It's about us making those wrong decisions.
“We had one bad game against Sligo and although we lost in Dundalk you take that performance every day of the week and you win quite comfortably. They've been fantastic. Yes, we have injuries but no excuses. We've had a bad night against Sligo and we move on."
The Hoops will remain without Sean Kavanagh, Neil Farrugia, Joey O’Brien and Ronan Finn (who underwent an operation this week and will be out for a few weeks).
"There's no getting away from it, we've had injuries. We've got a lot of injuries at the same time but that's football. That's the way it goes and there's no issue. The players have been outstanding for the best part of two years. We've had a bad week.
Danny Mandroiu is available for the Hoops as he won’t fly out to meet up with the Republic of Ireland senior squad until after Saturday’s game. “I'm delighted for Danny and his family because he's worked really hard and he's been excellent since he's come in. He's developed as a player and a person and long may it continue. He's delighted and we're all really proud of him."
Referee: Ray Matthews
Longford’s most recent win over Rovers was an EA Sports Cup second round clash in Tallaght in April 2018. Daniel O’Reilly got the only goal of the game that day.
Longford left Tallaght Stadium feeling hard done by when they last met the Hoops. Having taken a seven minute lead through Dylan Grimes, Rovers equalised through Graham Burke on 54 minutes and three minutes into injury Sean Gannon got the winner.
2-0 away win
Injured: Callum Warfield
Doubtful: Sam Verdon, Shane Elworthy
Injured: Sean Kavanagh, Neil Farrugia, Joey O’Brien, Ronan Finn, Dylan Watts