Finn Harps director of football Felix Healy has written off his side’s chances of getting promotion and insisted stability is much more important for the long term future of the club ahead of Friday’s visit to Mervue United (kick-off 7.45pm).
Healy saw his side win three on the bounce against Waterford United, SD Galway and Longford Town in the Airtricity League First Division before losing 3-1 at home against Limerick FC last weekend.
Adam Clarke cancelled out Garvin Coughlin’s first minute opener before Castlefin native Shane Guthrie and Denis Behan sealed the points Pat Scully’s side.
Although well beaten by the well-fancied Shannonsiders, Healy maintains a grounded approach will keep the Ballybofey club on the right track.
“If anyone thinks we are going to be competing right at the top of this division this season they are sadly mistaken,” he said. “Let’s get things real here. Limerick have probably got two players that are taking home more every week than our whole squad. That’s the reality.
“This is a tough division and one in which every team is scrapping for points. But the way I see things right now, if we lose two or three games let’s no get too despondent or downbeat, just like we’ll not get too excited of we win a couple of games.
“We have a young squad of players and things are ticking over nicely now from a squad point of view. The U-19’s did very well to win their league and there will be further good news to be announced in the coming weeks. We must stabilise.”
“We want to be competitive for the time being and build things up. It’s the best way and by the time we get into the new stadium in a couple of years we hope to move on from there.”
Thomas McBride was red-carded last weekend for a foul on Shaun Kelly and will be suspended for the trip to Galway as a consequence. Healy had few qualms about the decision.
“I thought it was a sending off,” he said. “If you want to look at it this way, if that foul had’ve happened to one of our lads then I would expect the referee to produce the red card.
“It was silly and rash and you can’t do those sort of things on a football field and expect to get away with it. He was that far over the top he connected with the player’s chest.
“I would expect to see young Shane McGinty come up to the squad. He has a game with the U-19 side against Derry City on Sunday but will come with us on Friday.”
Harps won the corresponding fixture against Mervue by four goals to three last month and Healy is hoping to come out on the right side of the result at Fahy’s Field.
“As you always do after a defeat, you look forward to getting back at it and that’s the way it’s been this week. We beat Mervue earlier in the season 4-3 but that type of game certainly isn’t good for the nervous system.
“In any game, your team will create so many chances and the other team will as well as from a management point of view you want to see your team take a good percentage of those chances. That’s football and that’s the nature of the beast.”