Dundalk will continue their preparations for the return of the SSE Airtricity League on July 31st with two further matches this week at home to Bohemians tonight (Tuesday) and Drogheda Utd on Friday.

Like the 1-1 draw with Derry City last week, the games will once again be played behind closed doors with two further matches planned for Monday and Tuesday of next week.

“Bohs on Tuesday and Drogheda on Friday will both be in the evening and then we’ve two games on Monday and Tuesday to be confirmed for the following week,” Perth told The Argus on Sunday.

“We’ll play a lot of friendlies to get everyone up to speed but the difficulty is you may have two players in one position and if you focus on one player getting minutes and he gets injured the week before a European game then you’ve another player who hasn’t played a lot of football in a long time so that’s why we’ve tried to get as many friendlies as we can and people as much game time as we can.

“That may affect some of the results in pre-season because we may have to use some of the under-19s at certain stages but guys need 90 minutes as quickly as possible.
“As much as they have a huge amount of fitness work done, now they need match fitness and that’s what we’re setting about doing. That’s why Derry was very good for us and Bohs will be really good for us again.”

The one slight concern for Perth at present was that his side had yet to line up a test on grass.

“We’re struggling to get away games at the minute but it’s something we’re trying to organise because we need to play on grass.

“We may even play one of the games on our own grass pitch over the next week just to get used to playing a game on a grass pitch again. The club has spent a lot of money on our grass pitch and it’s in great condition at the moment. It’s as good as you’ll find anywhere in the country at this moment.

“We’ve done a lot of training on it, which helps, but nothing beats playing a match on grass,” he said.

The manager said everyone had come through Friday’s friendly unscathed and that he was hopeful of having Patrick McEleney and Brian Gartland back in contention this week.

“We had absolutely no issues on Friday. We have a couple of niggles at the moment with Brian Gartland, Patrick McEleney and Sean Hoare but we have plenty of time on our side for those guys to get a game.

“Patrick will be involved this week. Brian could possibly be back on Friday and Sean will be another week or two away.

“It’s just minor stuff but there’s no point in rushing them because we’ve had a lot of bad luck with injuries so we just need to be careful. Our lads are so cardio fit now that we don’t need to force anybody,” he said.