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We are ready for Louth derby, says Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny

We are ready for Louth derby, says Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny

Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

The Lilywhites travel to Drogheda United in the Wee County derby with the aim of closing the gap on the top three in the Airtricity Premier Division

Airtricity Premier Division side Dundalk will hope to maintain pressure on the top three when they travel to Hunky Dorys Park to take on Louth rivals Drogheda United.

The Lilywhites are currently fourth in the league table, five points behind third placed Sligo Rovers, and manager Stephen Kenny was keen to acknowledge the effort put in by his "exceptional" players to achieve their league position.

"The players have been exceptional so far," he told the club's official website. "Their effort has been outstanding and our away form has been excellent with six wins out of seven. That gives us confidence."

Dundalk came from behind at Oriel Park to secure a 2-2 draw the last time the sides met and Kenny is aware that it will not be an easy game.

"It is a derby of course and they have good players so it won't be easy," he added. "We know it's a tough game but we've prepared well and we're ready for it."

Chris Shields is struggling to overcome a knee injury and remains a doubt, but Kenny will be unable to call upon suspended trio Stephen O'Donnell, Darren Meenan and John Sullivan.

Drogheda United, meanwhile, will be without the services of goalkeeper Gabriel Sava and midfielder David Cassidy, who are both serving suspensions. Drogs captain Derek Prendergast continues to recover from an ankle injury, while Eric Foley is also unavailable.

Drogheda manager Mick Cooke revealed that he is looking forward to the local derby and likened Dundalk's exploits to that of his own side last season, describing Stephen Kenny's side as a "real surprise package"

"The local derby is always a great occasion," he told the club's official website. "Dundalk obviously are doing what we did last season, they are the real surprise package of the league.

"They are playing some good football but we are well capable of that and it should be a good game, it will also determine who has the bragging rights for the next 10 weeks or so."

Drogheda United host Dundalk at Hunky Dorys Park on Monday, June 10. Kick off 20:00 BST.

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