Club captain John Mountney says that Dundalk “can’t feel sorry” for themselves and is determined to make up for lost time by helping the Lilywhites climb the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division table.

The 31-year-old made his long-awaited return to the starting XI when lining up at left-back in the scoreless Louth Derby with Drogheda United at Oriel Park on Easter Monday, having come off the bench late on in the defeat by leaders Shelbourne on Good Friday.

It was Mountney’s first start since late October 2022 having been tormented by injury, and he formed part of a solid defence which included centre-halves, Zak Johnson and Mayowa Animasahun aged 18 and 20, respectively.

The five-time league winner’s versatility may well come into play again this Friday when Dundalk are without suspended right-back Archie Davies for their trip to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium to
face Derry City but Mountney is just happy to be back and is aiming for “a positive result” when he comes up against some of his old teammates in the North.

“Every footballer wants to be on the pitch. It’s been a long time coming to get back to full fitness,” John told “I was delighted to be out there with the team and hopefully helping us to some positive results.

“I’ll try to get the body recovered and be available again for selection on Friday. Every game is competitive. You’re not surprised when you look at any results around the league with
what can happen. We’ll recover well, we’ll do our homework on Derry, and we’re going up there to get a positive result.”

Having signed back in 2012, the Bohola native has experienced ups and downs at the club. And while the derby draw was “frustrating”, he says Dundalk must look forward and hope for
a turn of luck that can get them “up and running”.

“We knew what to expect against Drogheda. The first half was hectic. In the second half, we started playing and controlling it but just didn’t get the goal to get the three points,” Mountney

“The ball was in the air a lot. When you play Drogheda in a derby, there’s always going to be a bite to it. You have to win the battle first. It didn’t really settle down until the second half.

“We knew we hadn’t really got going in the first half. After that, it was getting the ball down, getting our game out and creating chances. It’s just disappointing that we didn’t get the goal to go and win it.

“I think even up to them getting the man sent off, we were dominating. Of course, it was a big lift seeing them get someone sent off, having the extra player. We pushed on to get the win, we just didn’t create that clear-cut chance for a goal.

“Their ‘keeper made a save from a free-kick, off the post and back into his hands, you just want something like that to go in for you and you’re up and running. It was frustrating, but we
have to dust ourselves down. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves.

“Of course, we wanted to win on Monday, but we’ve got a big game now away to Derry on Friday.”