Dane Massey kickstarted the Vinny Perth era with the opening goal in the President’s Cup final against Cork City at Turner’s Cross almost 19 months ago. That would turn out to be the catalyst for a glorious season in which Dundalk also clinched silverware in the EA Sports Cup, Unite the Union Champions Cup and of course the SSE Airtricity League.
This season hasn’t gone quite as well needless to say but after also scoring the first goal of Filippo Giovagnoli’s reign against Cobh Ramblers on Sunday, the full back sent a warning to the rest of the league: Write us off at your peril.
While Dundalk are nine points adrift of Shamrock Rovers at the top of the table, Massey insists he and his team-mates haven’t thrown the towel in on the title and says there is much more to come from the Lilywhites this season.
“We’re not giving up on anything,” he said.
“We can still have a hugely successful season this year and that’s the attitude we have throughout the squad. It’s all positive from here.
“It has been a bit of a crazy period. Obviously Vinny was here a long, long time and he was always one of the lads. It was heartbreaking to see him go especially under those terms as well but this core group of players have been here for six or seven years as well. We haven’t turned into bad players overnight.
“We’re extremely confident that we’ll do well in the league but every team goes through a sticky patch and unfortunately for us we’re the top team in the league so everybody watches us. When you go through one sticky game people think your careers are over but not this group.
“We can turn it around. Our confidence levels are high now and we’re backing each other,” said Massey.
The 32-year-old said the players have reacted well to Giovagnoli since his arrival at Oriel Park last week.
“It was important that we started well and it was a professional performance from the lads today.
“We’re all happy and confidence is up. We’ve had a great week. Training has been excellent and everyone has really stepped it up now for the new manager. It’s a clean slate so it has been a good week.
“The back four worked tremendously hard this week. We’ve probably been annoyed a bit of the criticism. The new manager has come in and changed it around a little bit but a clean sheet was definitely on our minds and we were successful in that.”
He was also happy to chip in with what was his 29th career goal.
“I’ll take them any way they come,” he laughed.
“I was just happy to help the team out with a goal. We’ve been going through a bit of a sticky patch but I’m fully confident that we’ll get through this.
“We’ve no game this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, we would have loved to play in Derry but it’s a good opportunity for Filippo and Giuseppe to have a good look at the lads and we can get stuck into the Europa League then and whatever other fixtures are coming up,” he said.