Drogheda United will look to return to winning ways when they face Athlone Town at Lissywollen on Friday night, kick-off 7.45pm.
The Boynesiders suffered only their second defeat of the season last week as they lost 2-1 away to Finn Harps, a result which sees them slip to third in the table.
Sean Brennan had given Drogheda a first-half lead with a well taken free-kick but second-half strikes from Keith Cowan and Ciaran O’Connor meant the Drogs returned home pointless much to the frustration of manager Tim Clancy.
“It was a tough defeat to take,” the Trim native explained Wednesday evening. “We started the game so well and fully deserved the lead through Sean’s excellent free-kick. We didn’t really want half-time to come as we were on top and looking for the second goal.
“I have to give credit to Harps, they were a different side after the break. Paddy McCourt made a huge difference for them but there’s no doubt we could’ve defended better. It’s an important lesson that the lads will need to learn from.”
Drogheda’s previous league defeat, a 3-2 reversal away to Cabinteely, was followed-up by three wins in their next four games and Clancy is hoping for a similar response now.
“There are going to be ups and downs all the way throughout the season. We’re still in a very good position in the league but it’s key that we put last week’s result behind us. There’s a small gap opening up behind UCD but there’s only a couple of points then separating four or five sides.”
United started their campaign off with a 6-0 victory over Athlone at United Park back in March but Clancy is wary of a new manager bounce from The Town.
“We’ve all seen it countless of times; players always find that extra few percent when there’s a new manager in charge.
“I know results haven’t gone their way so far this season but the draw they picked up at home to Finn Harps should act as a warning to us.
“We need to be fully professional and get back to the performance levels that we know we’re capable of.”