Fenn admits focus is on Drogheda tie
This coming Friday night is a major occasion for everyone involved with Longford Town FC from players, to supporters to the club itself in terms of putting on a good show in front of a national TV audience and leaving the right kind of impression on potential new comers to the ground and of course in terms of attracting new sponsors. However, the word occasion is perfectly apt for the visit of last seasons league and cup winners, Cork City, to the City Calling Stadium as it is clear for all those involved with the Midlands club that there are much bigger fish to fry in the remainder of 2018. Such a statement may seem strange when you examine the facts that Friday's game is an FAI Cup quarter-final, a potential albeit unlikely route into Europe for a First Division side with an average gate this season of in or around 500 spectators. That gate is expected to double for the visit of Cork City's "Rebel Army" but for the weekly match-goers it is clear next Friday's trip to Drogheda United is of far greater consequence.
Following the most recent round of fixtures in the SSE Airtricity League First Division, Longford Town find themselves sitting pretty albeit precariously in fourth place, which is the final play-off position in the ten-team league. Just two-points behind the Midlands outfit are next weeks hosts, Drogheda United who had looked a safe bet for a top-four position all season.
With injuries and suspensions already mounting up for Longford Town boss Neale Fenn, the former Drogheda United assistant made no efforts to disguise the fact that his players focus is already firmly set on that promotion play-off shoot out in United Park next Friday night.
Speaking on Series 2-Episode 23 of Between the Stripes LOI podcast last night, Fenn had this to say to host and life-long Longford Town fan, Kieran Burke:
"In the greater scheme of things if we beat Cork then it's great if we don't then the bigger game for us is the following week in Drogheda, it's vitally important that we win that one."
"It's massive (the game V Drogheda) but as much as we'd all love to play in an FAI Cup Final and win the FAI Cup realistically we need to win one more game to get in the play-offs, we need to get in the play-offs that's where the focus is."
While Fenn's comments may upset those who had perhaps been pinning their hopes on the First Division's in-form side being potential cup giant killers in this last eight and in turn helping avoid a fourth consecutive Cork City V Dundalk final, supporters of "De Town" will appreciate the honesty and professional approach of their manager.
You can hear former Cork City player and current Longford manager Neale Fenn talk in full on Series 2-Episode 23 of Between the Stripes LOI podcast using the SoundCloud player below. The former Tottenham Hotspur youth fielded questions on the future of First Division hot-shot Dylan McGlade and you can catch his reaction in full on many different platforms such as Itunes, Audioboom, Podcast Republic, Spotify and TuneIn, simply search for Between the Stripes LOI podcast and remember to hit the follow/subscribe button and leave the show a review.