After suffering their first defeat of the season last weekend, Finn Harps return to action tomorrow night at home to Wexford Youths .
Wexford might not be among the favourites for league honours in the First Division, but Harps boss Ollie Horgan insists they will provide another difficult test for his team this weekend.
“I know that there will be some supporters who will be thinking this is a game we should win but Wexford are a good side,” he said.
“At least I know that myself and the players won’t be taking this game lightly. They are second in the table and anyone you speak to that has seen them this season will tell you they are a strong, physical outfit who work hard for each other and make it difficult for the opposition.”
Harps’ defeat in Dublin saw them drop to third in the table - and it came at a cost with the dismissal of Josh Mailey towards the end of the game meaning the Letterkenny man will be automatically suspended tomorrow night.
Mailey was deployed in a role off the front line at Tolka Park and his manager was more than happy with his performance. “Josh played out of position but he did very well. He held the ball up, he headed it and he had a great effort which just went wide. He’s a good player and we’ll miss him now that he’s out.”
Mailey’s place in the side will be taken by Ruairí Keating who returns after serving a one game ban. It might not be the only change to the starting eleven with Horgan hinting that he’s considering other options.
Unfortunately, he’s still without Kevin McHugh who continues to be troubled by a hamstring injury while Sean McCarron is also out.
Gareth Harkin is in with a chance of featuring for the first time this season while another player who will be included in the squad is Caoimhinn Bonner. The former Derry City defender’s clearance finally came through this week and according to Horgan, will give him added options in the backline.
Friday night’s match marks the last game at home for Harps until May 2nd. Over the next fortnight, they face two difficult away games against Longford Town and Waterford United.
Those two sides played out a goal-less draw at Flancare Park on Saturday night - a game which was watched by Horgan.
“They are two good sides. To be honest, Longford are probably as good as I’ve seen this season,” he said.
But the Harps boss was reluctant to look any further ahead than tomorrow night’s game against Wexford. “It’s another big game and after losing out against Shelbourne, hopefully we can put in a good display and get the right result.”
Elswhere this weekend in Division One, the leaders Shelbourne are away to Galway FC on Friday night; Cobh Ramblers host Waterford United on Saturday night and Shamrock Rovers B at at home to Longford Town on Sunday afternoon.
Friday night’s game at Finn Park kicks off at 8pm.