Dundalk manager Vinny Perth said he was very pleased with his side’s performance in their return to action against Derry City on Friday.
The Lilywhites played out a 1-1 draw in a behind closed doors friendly at Oriel Park in what was their first match against opposition since a 4-0 win against Finn Harps in Ballybofey on March 6th.
Walter Figueira gave Declan Devine’s side an early lead before Jordan Flores equalised with a thunderbolt of a strike in the 56th minute.
While the game ended in a draw, Dundalk had the better of the proceedings for long stages and Perth said he took heart from the performances of some of his new additions on the day.
“It was probably the most pleased I’ve been in a long time after a friendly,” he said.
“We know what we can get out of the likes of Hoban, Duffy, Boyle, Cleary, Gannon etc but for me the focus was on where was the likes of Darragh Leahy? I know he started one game earlier on in the season but he’s only really reached his full fitness level in the last month.
“It was good to see where Stefan Colovic was at and where Will Patching was at and they certainly answered that and gave me real food for thought with their performances.
“I think we can be happy too with Nathan Oduwa’s introduction. While he has to learn how to play with us, that will come but last year we felt we were short in the forward areas if we had any injuries but we certainly don’t think that now.
“We’re really confident and bullish coming out of that game. We had huge possession and I thought we used the ball really well at times.”
Perth also praised Flores for another outstanding goal.
“He now has four spectacular goals for us. For me, the one in Waterford last year was probably the pick of them. I know the one in Tallaght captured everyone’s imagination but he did something similar against Cork and again on Friday but the problem we have in Irish football is that those goals should be played in better stadiums.
“There were no fans or crowds behind the goals he scored all of them in. We’ve got to improve that but regardless of that the goals were all sensationalism.
“Jordan is another who has come back this year and hit the ground running and now he has just continued it post lockdown,” he said.
Dundalk continue their preparations for the return of the league with games against Bohemians on Tuesday and Drogheda on Friday, both behind closed doors at Oriel Park.