“It Was A Very Worthwhile Workout” – Kenny
Stephen Kenny says the friendly with Espanyol provided Dundalk with a “very worthwhile workout” in Barcelona on Thursday, where Michael Duffy and Steven Kinsella were handed their club debuts.
The Irish Champions travelled to Spain on Wednesday, basing themselves in Salou where they travelled from for their opening match at Ciutat Esportiva Dani Jarque against Blanquiazules’ B team.
In the opposition dugout was former Watford manager Quique Sánchez Flores, and it was the hosts that recorded a 2-0 win thanks to goals late in each half. But Kenny took the positives from the performance which he says “highlighted” areas to “improve” in.
“It was a good game. It was end-to-end. It was a very technical game. Obviously Espanyol keep the ball very well. There were some good performances from ourselves,” Kenny told dundalkfc.com, speaking back in the team’s base.
“A game like that highlights where you need to improve and that’s the important thing I feel. We missed some chances on the day. There were opportunities at both ends. Overall it was a very worthwhile workout. It was as good a pre-season game as you’ll get.
Ciarán Kilduff was unlucky not to notch another goal on the continent as he struck the woodwork in Barcelona.
“We had a game against Glenavon the other night. The players who didn’t start played in that; you can’t be playing two 90 minutes in short succession like that. The other players had played 90 on Monday. We’ll have changes again for the game this Monday.”
On a fine pitch at Espanyol’s training base, Dundalk went closest through Ciarán Kilduff who struck the inside of the post. They fell behind on the stroke of half-time, with Espanyol’s second goal coming on 78 minutes.
Dundalk are due to play another match on Monday against Spanish opposition in Salou, before they travel back to Ireland that evening ahead of their first competitive fixture of 2017 in the Leinster Senior Cup on Thursday.
Dundalk Team v Espanyol B: Gabriel Sava, Seán Gannon (Niclas Vemmelund 60), Paddy Barrett (Seán Hoare 60), Brian Gartland, Dane Massey, Stephen O’Donnell (Conor Clifford 60), Robbie Benson, Paddy McCourt (Jamie McGrath 60), Michael Duffy, John Mountney (Steven Kinsella 60), Ciarán Kilduff.