Ibriham Keita talks to reporters after Monday night's game against Derry City. Photo: Stephen Doherty
With Danny Morrissey back on the treatment table, and Ciaran O’Connor now departed, Finn Harps have turned to their latest recruit, , to lead the line of attack.
The 21-year-old Frenchman made his debut against Bohemians last Friday week, and on Monday night, came in for his first Harps start for the North West derby against Derry City.
“I was happy to start my first game,” Keita said afterwards.
“I wished that we had won the game. It was difficult. We created more chances than them and I think we deserved the win, but that’s football.
“It was very disappointing to lose two goals late in the game. We’re going to forget about it and win the next game.”
That next game is tomorrow night with Harps making the journey to Co. Wicklow to face troubled Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
Keita, who hails from just outside Paris, might well be a doubt for the game. He was nursing a finger injury as he spoke to reporters after Monday night’s match.
“I enjoyed the game. I like it here,” he enthused.
“The players and the coach are good with me. I want to play as many games as I can.”
The striker had been playing in Greece and his move to Ireland came about via his agent. Having been on the books at Wolves for a number of seasons, he said his ambition is to attract a move back to England before too long.
“I was excited to come to Ireland. I wanted to come here and see how the league was here,” he said.
“It’s not a big change from England to here. The football is the same.
“I was close to the first team at Wolves. I wish to go back to England, if I can. That is my dream, to play in England.”
He added: “I want to help Finn Harps to stay in the top division. I think that we will. I will do everything to stay in the team and play as many games as I can. Hopefully I can score some goals for the team.”
Harps fans will be looking at Friday night’s fixture in Bray as a chance to pick up some more points in their quest to stave off the threat of relegation.
Bray are well up the table (in fifth position), but their off-the-field problems are mirrored by their troubles on the pitch.
As Ollie Horgan pointed out this week, Bray have already beaten his team twice this season - 5-3 at the Carlisle Grounds, and 3-0 in Ballybofey.
However, since that victory at Finn Park back in early May, Bray have managed only two wins in the league, and they’ve lost three matches on the bounce.
Tomorrow night’s match is the first of two hugely important games for Horgan’s side.
They meet Galway United at home next week (Friday, August 4th), before their match against Bohs in Ballybofey in the first round of the FAI Cup (Friday, August 11th).