Dundalk manager Vinny Perth has admitted his side will lose a “little advantage” if the final round of league games is excluded from the calendar as expected.
As things stand, the SSE Airtricity League is not due to resume until June 19th, with the season curtailed to just three rounds rather than four.
While that would mean Dundalk having to face last season’s second and third placed sides Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians away from home twice, compared to just once at home, Perth’s biggest issue is the fact that the lesser amount of games means Dundalk’s squad strength may count a little less than it normally would.
The 43-year-old said, however, that no one could have any complaints this year with the primary aim just to get football back up and running again.
Of facing Rovers and Bohs away twice, Perth said: “I suppose it’s swings and roundabouts because if it goes the way it currently stands then we play Derry at home twice and Pat’s at home twice and they would have been two difficult away venues.
“The way we’ve built the squad, it is built for 50 to 55 games a season. We’re not going to have that many games now so we lose that little advantage.
“There are a couple of things like that which have went against us but ultimately we can’t complain about things like that. If it is what it is we just have to accept it and get on with it.”
Perth admitted there was little he could ask of his players right now.
“I suppose we don’t know where we are at. I was reading an article with Frank Lampard the other day and he was saying that basically you can’t demand anything off players.
“There’s no goal for any real date. As much as there is a date for June now, we’re a good bit away from that so there’s no real goal to be demanding off anybody and in the current climate you’re not going to demand anything off any player at the moment.
“Other than their individual programmes and treatment there’s not a lot going else going on and there’s not a lot more we can do until the world unfortunately sorts itself out. It’s as simple as that.”
While a few friendlies would be needed to get the squad up to speed before any return date, Perth said they can’t even be organised yet as a return to action was still so far away with an exact date still up in the air.
“You can’t be organising anything at the moment.
“The planning will start over the next week or so though. I have to work towards that date as if it is the date when we’ll be back up and running.
“The biggest concern at the moment is how do we get everybody ready for Europe. Over the last six years I don’t think we’ve ever struggled from a fitness point of view when it came to Europe so I suppose that’s the concern now. It’s like going back to winter football again almost.
“Keeping the players right and ready for Europe is the biggest job over the next six or seven weeks.
“Some countries might be out of the Coronavirus ahead of others so they may get an extra couple of weeks of preparation and you could be behind them or ahead of them. It’s all to do with timing really but it’s too early to say though.”
Perth also said that new signing Stefan Colovic remained in good spirits despite being unable to return home to Serbia to be with his family.
“It’s difficult for Stefan because he can’t return home at the moment whereas at least a couple of the other lads were able to return home to the UK but again he is being looked after by people around the club and he’s very happy at the moment.
“He was really looking forward to getting going though so it has been difficult.