Harps players celebrate with Jesse Devers after his winning strike against Galway United. Photo: Stephen Doherty
Ollie Horgan heaped praise on his young side after they produced an impressive display to beat Galway United on Monday evening.
And ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Dublin to play Shelbourne, the Harps boss, said he’s hopeful his team can keep their excellent run of form on track.
Horgan gave a first league start to Mark Hannon and a first team debut to 17-year-old Niall McGinley who was named in centre midfield.
Their inclusion, along with that of teenager Darragh Ellison on the bench, was necessary because so many first team regulars were absent either through injury or suspension.
“We have a very small senior squad if that makes sense,” the manager said.
“A lot of the 19s have come in (to the squad), and one or two of the 17s have come in, just like Niall McGinley. He came in the last few weeks and trained very well. But that’s what’s it about.
“There are other 19s that maybe aren’t far away either, but they’ve got to wait their turn. Will Niall go in against Shelbourne? Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. But he got a great lift there tonight. He’s a good kid, he’s a level-headed lad, but he might not get a turn again for a couple of weeks - so long as he stays at it, and expectation doesn’t grow.”
Horgan also felt Hannon did well. Up until Monday night, his only other start came in the EA Sports League Cup.
“It’s a great result that way, but is it enough to keep us up the table? No,” Horgan said.
“We need to get better and we need players fit and not as many suspensions as what happened tonight.”
Four wins in four games have catapulted Harps up the table and into second spot. They remain six points off UCD who have played one game more.
Horgan will have Sam Todd and Michael O’Connor available again after they were banned for Monday’s game. Mark Timlin however, is likely to miss out because of injury while Paddy McCourt will probably start again on the bench.
“I feel we need to get better,” Horgan added.
“There is a great togetherness with them and a great will and doggedness. But I just feel we need to get better in a lot of areas of the field to try and stay in the top half.”