Kenny Hails Rossiter Influence
Dundalk face another very tough weekend with a crunch league match in Turner’s Cross this Friday night (Kick-Off 8pm) and the EA Sports Cup semi-final v Wexford Youths on Bank Holiday Monday in Oriel Park (kick-off 5pm). Much of the attention this season has focused on the Dundalk FC attack that have scored an incredible 52 goals this season. With twelve games remaining Dundalk are already only three goals shy of their total for last season – and just five short of the top scoring team, Derry City, from the 2013 campaign.
Another major reason for Dundalk’s form this year is the development of a settled back four. The Sean Gannon-Andy Boyle-Brian Gartland-Dane Massey defensive unit has been very solid all year. While manager Stephen Kenny is delighted with how the back four has gelled so far this season, he has sympathy for the team’s most experienced player Mark Rossiter.
Speaking to dundalkfc.com on a break from Friday’s preparations, the Lilywhite’s manager stressed how despite his lack of game time the former Bohemians remains a key part of his squad: “Mark will have a big influence between now and the end of the season. His experience and quality in the final series of matches will be invaluable for us. Mark has been very unfortunate this season that the back four have settled so well and have been individually and collectively excellent all season”.
The 31 year old Sligo native, who joined Dundalk last year after a season with St Patrick’s Athletic, is facing increased action this month with cup matches approaching. However, even the manager is surprised at how little game time he has seen. “I probaby would have thought he would be much more involved this season. Any time Mark has come into the team he has been excellent. He came into the side against St Patrick’s Athletic in June and we kept a clean sheet, as we did in his previous game against Athlone. He was also very assured in our EA Sports matches in Bray and Derry. He is a certain starter against Wexford Youths next Monday and, if we are able to get through the tie, he will play in the final. There is also the FAI Cup match with Galway coming up and, I would imagine, more opportunities in the final series of league matches.”
Despite his lack of game time, “Rossi” has, according to the manager, being playing a key-role off the pitch. “Mark is very experienced and has won leagues and cups before. His attitude around the dressing room encouraging a lot of the younger players has been top class”.