Tickets remain on sale for Friday’s clash in Tallaght Stadium. Buy here. The match will also be live-streamed on LOITV, kickoff is 8 pm

A scoreless draw with Shelbourne on Monday after the excellent win three days earlier in Derry brought us four points in two tough away games. Were you satisfied with that four-point haul?

“Yes, really satisfied. When you consider the journey to Derry on the Friday, playing on that pitch and the injuries we have, you would’ve taken four points over the weekend. So considering Derry away, then Tolka Park, on that pitch, you take the four points and move on.”

To the Shels game itself, sadly we lost Markus to injury in the warm-up, but another clean sheet is a positive for Leon, and did the pitch hamper our style in terms of our attacking threat?

“To be honest, the pitch killed the game in terms of it wasn’t a really good game and there wasn’t a lot of quality on show. That’s not down to the players to be fair and I don’t know what it looked like from afar, but the pitch was awful. They put tons of sand on it during the week, it was extremely heavy, players couldn’t move, the ball wouldn’t move and it was bouncing up off the sand. So the pitch really killed it as a spectacle.”

Added to Markus’ late withdrawal on Monday and Gary O’Neill’s now likely loss for a few weeks, this again stresses the importance of having a large panel of players who are ready to play.

“This is the reason we’ve had to work hard throughout the years to build the squad up to what it is. As you know, at any given point in the season you’re going to get injuries. If you look around football in general throughout the world, injuries are up 24%. It’s not just here in Ireland, it’s not just ourselves, it’s everywhere. I think squads are becoming more and more important. When our players have been asked to step up, they’ve stepped up. That’s what you want at this club.”

We face Galway this weekend who are holding their own so far this season and coming off a fine win last Friday over Shelbourne. Despite the injuries and Dan Cleary’s suspension, are the lads still raring to go against Galway United?

“Yes, of course. The group is in a good place in terms of their mentality. We know that we’re facing a difficult game. John Caulfield and Ollie Horgan have been around the league a long time and John has been so successful in the league. We know Galway will come extremely well-organised and with a game plan to win. They’re very effective in what they do, we have to respect that. But we also know we’re at our best in Tallaght, we can win any game and our aim against Galway is nothing less than winning the game.”

Galway proved a difficult task when Johnny Kenny’s late goal won us the game recently at Eamonn Deacy Park. What attributes, style or individuals in John Caulfield’s team should concern us most?

“As I said, you have to respect what they do and they do it really well. That’s no surprise when you have John and Ollie there. They have a strong and together group of players and you must respect what they do. They’re dangerous in transition, and dangerous at set-plays, you see with their results they can cause any team problems. So we have to make sure we’re fully focussed and give Galway the respect they deserve.”

Can you tell us the likely length of Gary and Markus’ injury absence and the latest with Graham Burke, Lee Grace, Jack Byrne, Aaron McEneff, Seán Hoare and Neil Farrugia?

Markus isn’t too bad, he should be ok for Monday’s game. Gary unfortunately will be 6-8 weeks, he got a bang on the knee and quad, but it’s a quad injury that will keep him out. Graham, Jack and Seán Hoare we’re looking at this day next week to be back in the group all being well. Lee is in London at the moment and we’re waiting on feedback from the specialist. Neil is doing really well and we’re also hoping next week he’ll be back involved. Aaron will be another 2-3 weeks, but again, we’re getting there. I know we have quite a few out, but other than Gary, we’re hoping we’ll have everyone back the next 2-3 weeks.”