LEAGUE OF IRELAND

Finn Harps live in hope ahead of Drogheda United game

Last chance saloon for Ollie Horgan's Harps

Tom Comack

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Tom Comack

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sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Harps v Drogheda

Gareth Harkin gets a pass away during Harps' gave against Drogheda in Ballybofey earlier this season.

While there is life there is hope is the motto of Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan’s week ahead of the visit of Drogheda United to Finn Park. (kick-off 8 pm)
It may be a forlorn hope but the Harps boss insists they are going to fight to the end and hope for the best.
With two games to play and positioned second from the bottom of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division League table, Harps are looking down the barrel of relegation.
They face already doomed Drogheda United on Friday night at home and Bohemians away the following weekend.
The bottom line is Harps need to take maximum points from both of those games and hope fellow strugglers Sligo Rovers, Galway United and St Patrick’s Athletic drop points in their last two games.
Harps are four points adrift of Galway United and five behind Sligo and St Pat’s. They all have two games to play.
“There is a still a chance; it may be a slim one. But there is a chance and while we have a chance we will keep fighting,” said the Harps boss at Tuesday’s press briefing in the Clanree Hotel.
“We also need to fight better than we did last Friday night against Derry if we are to have any chance of keeping up our own side of the bargain,” he quickly added.
“Mathematically it is a possibility although it would take a huge change of fortune both for us on the pitch and other results around the country.
“I wouldn’t be advising any of my friends to put any money on us. But it is possible and as we all know anything is possible in football.”
Harps and Drogheda, who are 12 points behind Harps in the league standings, have met twice already this season.
They have won one each. Drogheda defeated Harps 2-0 in Finn Park back in April. This was Drogheda’s last win in the league.
However, Harps went to United Park early in July and took full points in a 2-0 win.
“Drogheda are a good side with a lot of quality players and a few ex internationals in their squad.
“I watched them on Saturday night, myself and Paul Hegarty, down in Limerick. They are fighting for their lives and they are already gone.
“We didn’t show as much fight the previous night against Derry and we were fighting for our lives and were still in with a chance of surviving.
“If we are going to turn them over it will take a huge effort and a much bigger effort than what we showed and produced against Derry.”
Harps haven’t won a game since their 2-0 win over Limerick, away, on September 1st.
Since that they have lost to Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers and Derry City.
“We need a wee bit of luck to get that confidence back. We hoped it would happen in Buncrana against Derry, it didn’t. We hoped it would happen the week before against Dundalk and we nearly did.
“Last year we were on a much worse run and we went to Sligo and got a draw after Raffaele Cretaro missed a last minute penalty.
“That result turned our season and we need something like that to happen again this weekend.”
On the team news front Horgan is planning this week without Ethan Boyle and is unsure on the fitness of Paddy McCourt.
“Ethan is definitely out with a hamstring injury picked up in the Dundalk game and he is out for the rest of the season.
“Paddy is extremely doubtful and I can’t see him being available although he has made himself available when not fully fit in the past.”
The Harps boss also has a number of other niggly injury concerns but is hopeful that most of them will have cleared up by Friday night.