Drogheda boss Clancy expecting stiff test from Seasiders
DROGHEDA United boss Tim Clancy is warning against any complacency as his team prepare for Saturday’s long trip to face Cobh Ramblers (7.45pm).
A glance at the league table would suggest that this is one of the easier fixtures the Boynesiders will face, with Cobh lying in eighth place, but Clancy is inclined to believe that they are in a false position and that’s a message he’ll be spelling out to his players in training this week.
The Munster side have already equalled their record of the past two seasons in suffering two home defeats - they went down 2-0 to both Finn Harps and UCD in their only fixtures to date on their own patch.
However, last week they knocked Limerick out of the EA Sports Cup before putting four goals past Athlone Town following another road trip on Friday.
‘It’s a huge game for us on Saturday and it’s going to be very difficult against Cobh,’ said Clancy, right, on Monday afternoon.
‘I know they have not started well, but they will have ambitions to be up there at the end of the season.
‘They are a very good side and have been for the last couple of years and Hendo [Stephen Henderson] has them hard to beat and, as I’ve said every week, we’re going to have to be right at it.’
The fact that the game is on a Saturday limits the impact of the long trip as most players won’t have work commitments during the day, and Clancy will be looking for his team to reproduce the ruthlessness they showed when putting eight goals past Wexford, with their only subsequent away game in Cabinteely ending in defeat.
For the second game in a row he has a full squad to select from apart from Luke Rossiter, who is still the subject of an investigation by the club following his controversial tweet about the Belfast rape case.
Last Friday the Drogs needed a Ciaran Kelly strike in the final suggestion that his team had got out of jail.
‘I think we had the better chances in the game. It wasn’t one of our better performances - we gave the ball away more often than we have been doing - but Paul Skinner did not have a save to make and we restricted them to shots from distance.
‘Their keeper made two fantastic saves and Gareth McCaffrey had another great chance, and although you’re happy to get a draw when it’s in the last minute I don’t think we nicked a point.
‘It just shows the character of the team to come back like that.’
Asked about Ciaran Kelly, whose goal saved Drogheda from only their second defeat of the season, Clancy wasn’t surprised the teenager has set himself a goal to play across the water in the future.
‘He’s only 19 and physically he’s getting stronger every time he plays. He’s a fantastic player and it [career in England] should be something he’s working towards.
‘We will want to keep him for the foreseeable future and his ambition is what we want. We want young players in our team who want to improve.’
Meanwhile, Drogheda’s EA Sports Cup second-round tie away to Shelbourne - originally scheduled for next Monday - has been put back 24 hours, with a 7.45pm kick-off in Tolka Park.
The Drogs face Shels again in the league on Friday week, just 72 hours after their cup meeting.
I know they have not started well, but they will have ambitions to be up there at the end of the season
seconds to secure a 1-1 draw at home to Longford Town, but Clancy discounted any
Lee Duffy takes down the ball during Friday’s game against Longford. Picture: Paul Connor