After an absorbing UEFA Europa Conference League tie with Levadia Tallinn on Thursday night, Will Patching knows that Dundalk must refocus on domestic matters quickly ahead of a tricky looking FAI Cup tie with Treaty United on Sunday afternoon.
This will be the first-ever encounter between the clubs and as the current FAI Cup holders, Dundalk will be hoping that Sunday’s clash will be the first step towards a seventh successive FAI Cup final appearance at the Aviva Stadium in November.
Patching scored Dundalk’s first goal in the 2-2 draw with Levadia at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday night but speaking to dundalkfc.com, he said that any thoughts of the second leg in Estonian would be put on the back burner until Sunday’s game was over.
“Our focus isn’t on the game in Estonia, it’s on the FAI Cup game with Treaty on Sunday,” he said. “We want to win as many trophies as we can and the cup presents another opportunity to do that.
“We have to go down there and perform. We’re at a stage of the season where games are coming so close together and it’s an early kickoff which doesn’t make things easier but we will be prepared and ready for it.”
The midfielder has been an ever-present in Vinny Perth’s side since he returned from his loan spell at Derry City at the start of July and he was instrumental in the European tie with the Estonians on Thursday night.
After shipping a goal to Bogdan Vastuk inside the opening 90 seconds, Dundalk hit back with just three minutes on the clock when Patching steered a Daniel Kelly cutback into the far corner of the Levadia net with a classy finish.
“I had a very similar chance against Finn Harps in our last league game and I put it over the bar but, thankfully, I put that one in on Thursday,” said the 22-year-old.
“I’m not even sure if I touched the ball before they went 1-0 up but we showed great character to bounce back twice in the game. Both of our goals were the results of stuff we worked on so what we’re doing on the training pitch is coming off. We have good players and we move the ball well.
“The main thing for me was to try snd get as many goals and assists as possible and try and help the team as much as possible. That’s two goals in Europe. I just need to start contributing more in the league and cup now.”
Vastuk put Levadia back in front but David McMillan’s 13th European goal restored parity again to leave the tie wide open ahead of the second leg at The A Le Coq Arena next week.
“It was a very interesting first half,” smiled Patching. “We just changed a little tactic in the middle of the park and we had a lot of the ball in the second half.
“It would have been nice to nick one, especially going over there next week, but it was a good performance and we fully believe that we can get the win in Estonia but we must look after Sunday’s game in Limerick first.”