Andrew Dempsey got talking with last week's hat trick hero in the Midlands “El Clasico” and club legend Davy O'Sullivan ahead of this week's FAI Cup Second Round cup game away to Bangor Celtic.
With yourself being Longford Town's record goalscorer and being with the club since 2013 being through both the highs and lows together, how does all the adulation from the fans feel like to have?
“It's always nice to get any sort of praise, and since I arrived at the club the fans have been full of it for me, through both the highs and the lows so it's been great! I am always chuffed with the amount of adulation received from the fans, it keeps me going! I make sure not to get to carried away with it though as I know there will always be low points in this game”
Obviously you struggled with injury for a while this year, how difficult was it to get over your injury struggles?
“It's been a very tough season for me, It was a very complex injury and the longest time I've been sidelined since joining Longford. The toughest part of being injured is watching both the training and matches, knowing you can't be involved, knowing you can't make any impact on the team's performances. Its lonely at times as you are doing a lot of training/rehab in the gym on your own while the team are training. I've worked very hard and the staff at the club have been brilliant ensuring that I could return before the end of the season. I'm delighted to be back training properly and back on the pitch, long may it last!”
What's the mood been like in the camp on the back of two fantastic wins?
“The mood in the camp has been great since Neale came in. He has us playing a completely different style of football and the atmosphere around the squad has improved because of it. The 2 wins in the last 2 weeks have been brilliant and are hopefully the start of a good run. With the league pretty much sown up by Waterford it was important for us to beat Sligo and keep our season going, so that was brilliant. It was also important to get the win on Saturday against Athlone to lead us into the cup game this weekend. All in all the mood in the camp is very good at the moment”
Before the Sligo win could you have foreseen a performance similar to that in the games prior to it?
“Before the Sligo game, I knew we were due a big result or two. We have a squad of players that are capable of playing some very good football and I think we showed that in the Sligo game. Our league form hasn't been good enough, we as players have to take responsibility for that and in turn we've disappointed a lot of fans so it was important to get that win and give them something to cheer about while also keeping the clubs season alive!”
With the FAI Cup in full swing at the moment, do you have any special personal memories from playing in the cup?
“The FAI Cup is great, I love being involved in it so I was delighted when I found out I would be fit just in time for the Sligo game. There are always upsets and the draw can be nice to you as well so we always go out with that mentality, I think that showed in the team's performance against Sligo, every single player gave their all for that game! The run we had in it two years ago when we got to the semi final will always be special, but my debut in the competition is probably the most special memory, where I managed to score a hat trick against Pike Rovers in a 4-0 win”
What are your thoughts ahead of the game away to Bangor Celtic?
“The game on Friday is going to be very tricky, I have played Bangor Celtic before during my time with Wicklow Rovers. The pitch is very big and we don't know much about them. They have nothing to lose with all the pressure being on us. I am looking forward to it and I'm sure we will bring a decent crowd to cheer us on. We know it's not going to be an easy game by any means and will prepare well this week in training”
Have you got any goals that you would like to achieve between now and the end of the season, both personally and collectively?
“Collectively, while I know there's only a handful of games left we'd like to go the rest of the season unbeaten in the league and go on a good cup run. We also want to show the fans what we are capable of as a squad and that we are better than what we have showed at times this season. Personally, my main goal since getting injured was to work hard and get back on the pitch. Now that I have achieved that I'd like to cement my place in the starting eleven and score as many goals as I can between now and the end of the season.”