Kickoff in Tallaght Stadium is at 8 pm. Tickets are available here.

Last Friday’s defeat on Sligo was possibly a key and certainly disappointing defeat. Similar to several times this season, missed chances and poor goals conceded cost us points. That must be most frustrating for you and the group.

“We should’ve been ahead in the game, but we never had any control of it, to be honest. I don’t think our overall performance deserved to win the game. When you combine all that and the goals we conceded, we deserved to lose the game”

You described the two goals in Sligo, scored by our ex-player Simon Power as “naïve”, can you explain in what aspect was that naïve?

“Certain things that we do, that we’ve done for quite some time, we didn’t do those in Sligo. That was the disappointing bit, but as I said, we didn’t control the game at any point and missed chances to win the game. But when you defend as we did as a team, you don’t deserve to win. The goals we gave away were incredibly poor from our point of view.”

Might there be an argument that it’s been a case of some players being forced to play too many minutes due to circumstances and longer-term injured players who have come back just haven’t had enough minutes? So has that balance maybe been a factor in the inconsistent season?

“I don’t think there’s any hiding away from the fact that obviously we’ve had a lot of injuries and trying to get bodies back and get them back without re-injuring them and finding that balance. But we don’t look for excuses. We’ve set really high standards for ourselves and the league the last few years and that’s what we hold ourselves to. So we’re not going to start looking for excuses, we had enough chances to win in Sligo, and if you can’t win the game, make sure you don’t lose it. We all know what Simon Power’s strength is and we just allowed him to go and do exactly what he wanted when he came on, which was really poor.”

Dundalk come to Tallaght this week.  We’ve had an opening day 1-1 draw in Tallaght and a 0-1 defeat in Oriel. The players will be keen to put Sligo into history and show some momentum going into the European campaign.

“We just know we have to be better. In Sligo, it wasn’t us by any stretch of the imagination at any point in the game. So we have to be better and get back to what we do, get our identity back and everything else will look after itself off the back of that. It’s about getting back to us and last Friday just wasn’t us. So that will be the aim against Dundalk, to get back to what we do. We know if we do that, we’re more than capable of winning games but we have to get back to that.”

Dundalk struggled badly early this season. Where do you see where Jon Daly has rejuvenated that struggling team and what do you expect Dundalk to show us on Thursday night?

“I really like Jon Daly and his teams, and how they set up. He has shown some really good times at St Pat’s and it’s small margins between success and what’s deemed failure. But I think Jon is very clever tactically,  you can see what he’s trying in both attack and defence, he has good ideas. He signed a lot of players recently too, but we know we’ve yet to beat Dundalk this season so we know it will be a difficult game. So, Jon has shown himself to be a very good manager and knows what he’s doing.”

You had said last week you hoped more bodies would be back and available for this game. Did that come to pass or who’s unavailable for the Dundalk game?

“The players who came on against Sligo (Seán Hoare, Aaron McEneff, Trevor Clarke and Jack Byrne) are fine. Darragh Burns and Dan Cleary are back which is really good. We’ll check on Lee Grace, Neil Farrugia and Seán Kavanagh at training. If they’re not back for Dundalk, they should be ok after the weekend which is good so we’re definitely getting there with the bodies. Rory Gaffney will be a longer one, he’ll be another few weeks.”