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Limerick FC – “Confidence is high in the group”

Tony Whitehead is hoping for a repeat performance as Limerick look to move within touching distance of safety when they tackle Saint Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on Saturday evening, kick-off 5pm.

The 21-year-old centre-half finally opened his goalscoring account – in his fifth season in the first team – with the opener in Inchicore when the sides met back in April, which ended in a 2-0 win for the Shannonsiders.

With just two points separating them with four games remaining, that victory was all the more important, with Whitehead acknowledging that this weekend’s clash represents a “six-pointer”.

But with “confidence high” following two good performances against Cork City – which ended in a league win and narrow FAI Cup semi-final loss – the Charleville native is relishing the test that awaits them in the capital.

“We’re on a good run recently so, I have to admit, I’m looking forward to the game. It’s a big game – probably a six-pointer when you look at the table. Confidence is high in the group and we’re just looking forward to it now,” Tony told

“It was a great win up there the last time. Looking at the table now it was a big three points. Personally, I waited five years to score a goal so it was a nice moment for me. But more importantly we got the three points and hopefully we can repeat it on Saturday. St Pat’s work very hard. They’re a good side and they’re on a good run at the moment.”

Whitehead was pleased with how Limerick competed with Munster rivals Cork over back-to-back games in the past fortnight, which has boosted the mood in the camp ahead of the run-in.

“The first game we got two early goals and I thought we defended brilliantly. I think they had 17 corners and we defended very well, which was a big plus,” Tony said.

“Again, in the Cup game last week there were a lot of positives to take from that. We were under pressure for the first 15-20 minutes but after we conceded I think we were the better team for the 60-70 minutes after that. I thought we were unlucky and we deserved more from the game but it just wasn’t to be.”

Whitehead, who signed for the Under-19s in January 2012, penned a contract extension with the club in July which will take him through to the end of the 2018 season. And he has been happy with his progress, even if he would like to see the side further up the standings.

“I’m obviously disappointed that we are down near the bottom of the table,” he admitted. “Personally, I think I’ve played 29 going on 30 games so it has been a good season for me. I’m hoping to stay in the team and hopefully get safe as soon as possible.”

Limerick completed preparations for the game at UL on Friday morning with manager Neil McDonald reporting a fully-fit squad for the fixture.

Audio: Here.
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