Dundalk secured their third 1-1 home draw in a row on Friday night as they came from behind to deny Cork City the spoils. Speaking after the match, Lilywhite interim manager, Darius Kierans, was pleased that his side did get a result and praised the character they showed to recover from a goal down.
"Happy with the result. The first half was flat. We gave away a terrible goal. That said Cork didn't really cause us that many problems I don't think. Both teams were flat and it was a poor enough game. We were very disappointed to go in behind at half-time but in the second half I think the boys showed tremendous character. Got themselves back in the game, could have won it in the end but we could have lost it"
Kierans did admit his side were poor in the first half but was happy with the effort of the team, despite Derek Foran's injury meaning they were at a disadvantage.
"I don't think Cork were on top for the last 15. We effectively played it with ten men with Derek Foran being injured. We were committing a lot of men forward and they were hitting us on the counter.
"Ian Turner caused us a lot of problems on the right hand side, he's got good pace and is so direct. He's a cracking player. The first half we weren't great by any stretch of the imagination but Cork didn't really cause us any problems. I thought the draw was pretty much a fair result in the end."
The game against Cork City was the 33 year-old's fourth game in charge and with three draws and one defeat, he is satisfied with his start. However, he does look back and think they could have got more but feels it is only a matter of time before his young Lilywhites do pick up victories.
"It's been a very good start. We are unbeaten at home. Our home form was poor before this. With a bit of luck we could have won one or two of them. The character and the commitment I am getting from the boys is great. We had a lot of injuries tonight. Derek Foran was playing at 70%, Peter Thomas was out with a shoulder injury, John Mountney was ruled out before the game, Eoghan Osborne. Hopefully we're going to have a lot of them back in the next couple of weeks and when we get them all back fit and get our strongest team on the pitch, it's only a matter of time before we start winning games."
In recent weeks, Dundalk have been undergoing budget cuts in a bid to keep the club afloat. The Drogheda native has had to let some players go to cut the budget and he revealed the budget is "where it needs to be."
"As far as the budget goes, it's where it needs to be. We've taken two grand off the budget. We've had to let some players go, it's not nice having to do that but I've said before, the club has to survive. I think going forward with the budget where it is and the fundraising by the fans, I think if everyone works hard, everything will be alright until the end of the season."
With players going out, Kierans has been busy trying to bolster his weakened squad. Stephen Maher, a player who was at the club for two seasons, is on his radar and he confirmed that he is interested in bringing him back in. However there are some issues preventing that at the moment.
"We're talking to Stephen. There's a third party who have come in and have offered to pay players' wages. From the club's point of view, it's not going to cost anything and the budget is where it is and that's grand going forward. Stephen's a player I like and he's a player I'd like to get in but there's issues between the club and the FAI at the minute."
On the subject of transfers, local youngster Ben McLaughlin has been attracting interest from clubs across the water, including Everton and this weekend, it was confirmed that he has signed a professional deal with the club. Kierans is aware of the interest but isn't ruling anything in or out at the moment.
"I don't want to confirm or deny anything regarding to Ben. Ben's a cracking young player, he plays years out of his age. It's not something I want to comment on at the minute because there is nothing definite for now. He's going to attract a lot of interest from club's in England. For a 17 year-old, he is unbelievable."