Dundalk hopeful of having Duffy and McEleney back for Bohs game

Dundalk hopeful of having Duffy and McEleney back for Bohs game

Dundalk are hopeful of having Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney back for the FAI Cup quarter-final tie away to Bohemians on Friday week.

Duffy was substituted in the 4-3 Europa League defeat to Rapid Wien recently after receiving a heavy challenge from Maximilian Hofmann in the box that went unpunished.

His fellow Derry man McEleney has also been out with a groin problem since the 3-0 defeat away to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Asked had either a chance of make it back for the trip to Dalymount Park, Giovagnoli said: “Michael Duffy yes. Pat probably because he is improving a lot.

“I read something in the paper that it would be five or six weeks but it is less. Today he was running. So soon he’ll be back on the team.”

McEleney ‘ready to go’ for Pat’s game after comeback from injury

McEleney ‘ready to go’ for Pat’s game after comeback from injury

Dundalk midfielder Patrick McEleney has declared himself ready for action after making his return from injury against Finn Harps on Friday night.

The 27-year-old hadn’t featured for the first team since picking up a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win away to Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup semi-final at the end of last September.

Having missed out on the run-in to the league and last November’s Cup final, McEleney had been hoping to hit the ground running this season but an Achilles problem curtailed his involvement in the early weeks of the season.

Speaking to The Argus after Dundalk’s 4-0 win over Finn Harps on Friday though, the Derry native said it had finally been resolved and he says his fitness is now in such a good place that he feels ready to start against St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday should he be called upon.

“It’s brilliant to be back,” he said.

“It has been a long time. I picked up an injury in pre-season and just couldn’t shift it. It was a really frustrating one to be honest with you but I’m just happy to be back now.

“My Achilles just kept swelling up and I just couldn’t shift it. I was doing everything I could to sort it and just nothing was working for me but thankfully Danny (Miller) and Murph (David Murphy) got it right in the end.

“It’s perfect now. I’ve no pain whatsoever so it’s all gone and that’s a credit to the medical staff.”

McEleney admitted that the last few weeks have been frustrating but is now hopeful he can force his way back into the side.

“After missing the Cup final and the end of last year I was thinking I’d have a good pre-season and get myself right. You have this perfect plan in your head but it doesn’t always work out but I’m back now and I was just delighted to get a run-out tonight and I’m already looking forward to next week now.

“I’ve been doing cardio nearly every morning before the lads even come in. There’s no hiding place in Dundalk when you’re injured. It’s really tough as everyone knows so I feel I’m ready.

“I definitely want to be involved on Friday night. It’s up to me now to have a good week in training and show I should be involved. Whatever is decided then is up to the staff but I’ll be ready,” he said.

McEleney looking to kick on after ending goal drought

McEleney looking to kick on after ending goal drought

Dundalk midfielder Patrick McEleney is hopeful of kicking on in the coming weeks after ending a nine-and-a-half month goal drought with a brace against Finn Harps on Friday night.

The 26-year-old hadn’t found the net in a competitive fixture since his header won the Lilywhites the FAI Cup final against Cork City at the Aviva Stadium last November.

However, he is hopeful for better times ahead after marking his 100th start for the club with two goals and a man of the match display on Friday night.

Having suffered a dip in form which saw him lose his place in the side for the recent European double header with Slovan Bratislava, McEleney said he was hopeful he could take confidence from his display against the Donegal side.

“The goals have been a long time coming so I’m over the moon with that but the main thing was just getting the three points tonight,” he said.

“It wa probably good just for a bit of confidence I think. I think I did all right the other night when I came on against Bratislava but there’s a lot more to come from me and I hope I can do it.

“It does annoy you when you’re not scoring. It sticks in your mind to be honest. I’m not usually in this position, I usually have a few goals by now, but it is what it is. I’m playing a bit deeper as well too and I’ve been changing position a bit so I’ll just use that as an excuse,” he laughed.

The Derry man praised his side’s professional approach to Friday night to ensure there was no European hangover like in previous seasons when they dropped points after Europe.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game because they’ve been doing quite well. We were setup correctly and I think we done the business rightly.

“It’s just about building on this now. We’re playing now in every trophy over the next couple of weeks and we want to win everything so we’ll do our work right.”

While the result of Monday night’s EA Sports Cup semi-final at home to Bohemians wasn’t known at the time of going to print, McEleney said the squad had targeted a treble even though their two cup fixtures this week, including Friday night’s trip to face his hometown club Derry City, were as difficult as could be.

“We obviously talk about the treble in the changing room and we’ll be looking to do it.

“I think we slipped up last year and everybody knows that. It’s not usually like us. We don’t usually do things like that but we’ll be looking to do the business now.

“It got away last year. We were in a great position to win everything but we just had an off day and we let it slip but hopefully we don’t do the same again,” he said.