FAI CUP: '˜Dundalk won't be happy to draw Derry City in semi-finals' - says Shiels
KENNY SHIELS reckons reigning FAI Cup champions, Dundalk won't be happy to have drawn Derry City in the semi-finals, despite being handed home advantage.
The Lilywhites host Shiels’ troops in the last four tie at Oriel Park on Sunday, October 2nd which will be screened live on RTE television.
On the other side of the draw John Caulfield’s in-form Cork City will travel to Inchicore to face 2014 winners St Patrick’s Athletic.
“It’s a difficult draw but I would imagine Dundalk are not happy with this draw,” said the Derry boss. “I don’t think they want to meet Derry.
“I’m sure they know we’ll dominate possession against them and that’s not something they’re used to.”
The Derry boss was disappointed not to have a home draw given the amount of travelling his side has faced this month already.
Indeed, the fixture will be Derry City’s fourth away game on the bounce as they now face two trips to Dundalk in consecutive weeks. They’ve already faced trips to Drogheda United, Bohemians and Wexford Youths in the previous rounds.
And Shiels doesn’t believe the exertions of Dundalk’s UEFA Europa League campaign will leave the Co. Louth club disadvantaged going into the semi-final.
“They’ve got two squads basically. I’m sure our players would rather get on a plane for an hour and a half flight to Amsterdam as opposed to the amount of travelling we’ve been doing. We’ve played three more games in the league. This is our second semi-final as we’ve had a run in the League Cup as well which they haven’t had.
“Their big journeys in Europe are all after the semi-final.
“It’s going to be difficult for us because our players are going to be tired when you consider the amount of travelling they’ve done through September.
“It was six hours on the bus to Wexford, six hours on the bus back and they repeat that this weekend again.
“We then go to Dundalk in the league before we play them in the cup which is another double header.
“We’ve played as many games if not more than Dundalk this season.
“They have a massive squad,” he continued. “These are all the negatives but the positives are that we’re a good team and we play good football and expect to give a good account of ourselves and let’s see where it takes us.”
The last meeting between the sides resulted in Derry City’s biggest defeat of the season as Dundalk strolled to a 5-0 win at Brandywell in the league.
City are unbeaten since that heavy loss and Shiels believes the FAI Cup semi-final is a chance to show how much his side has improved having been ‘embarrassed’ in their last meeting.
“We will give a good account of ourselves. We really were embarrassed the last time we played Dundalk when they beat us 5-0 in Derry.
“We haven‘t lost since in the league and we see this as an opportunity to see if we’ve improved any since then.”