And with that, Gallagher will be hoping that his side can record their first victory of 2011 – at the eighth time of asking.
Not only have Harps not won a game this season, they departed the EA Sports Cup in the first round and have now failed to scored in five games.
By Joe Doherty
Not since Kevin McHugh’s strike against Monaghan United in the 65th minute of the game on 18th March have Harps hit the net – a total of 505 minutes without a goal, including extra-time against Mervue United in the EA Sports Cup.
The concession of six goals in two games in the last seven days is a worry for Harps boss Gallagher.
“I think we’re not giving ourselves a hope with the goals we’re conceding. We’re hurting ourselves with the goals we’re letting in.
“I’ve been at the club for a number of years and the goals we’ve conceded in the six games in the league, as well as Mervue (in the cup), I’ve never seen anything like it from an individual mistake point of view. I’ve never seen a run like it at any level, it has to be a mentality thing but then again it could be something I’m doing in training.
“It’s very difficult to talk after a game about a defeat that has come about from individual errors, I wouldn’t mind talking about a well-crafted goal but instead we’re talking about first our goalkeeper and then our defenders switching off and being caught in no-man’s land.
“When you make mistakes against the Athlones of this world, never mind your Corks and Shelbournes, you’ll get punished.
“And then at the other end when teams make a mistake we’re not punishing them. We can’t focus too hard on the defenders, though, we certainly could be doing more further up the park as well.”
Marc Brolly is available again for the visit of Longford, after missing the two games last week through suspension. Ciaran Coll is also likely to return after missing the midweek trip to Athlone. Garbhan Friel is still unavailable, but has resumed training again.
Longford will include Keith Gillespie, the former Manchester United, Newcastle United and Northern Ireland winger in their squad.
“It’s very early in the season and there’s going to be plenty of games coming up. You would like to think that after the Cork game boys would have been chomping at the bit, looking to get out there against Athlone,” said Gallagher.
“We have another game now against Longford to try and make things right, try and get a bit of confidence back. A wee bit of luck wouldn’t go amiss but if you don’t work yourself into the ground, which you should be doing every week anyway, you mightn’t get that wee bit of luck that you desperately need.”
Harps have a decent record against Longford Town at FinnPark, and have won the last four meetings between the sides in Ballybofey.
Longford have failed to score in their last five visits and Harps will be hoping that they can again keep the goals against column blank on Friday evening, while at the same time putting an end to their own goalscoring problems.
Finn Park, Friday 22nd April 2011 – Kick-off 8.00pm
Injured: Garbhan Friel (knee).
Form Guide (last six league games)
Finn Harps: D-D-L-D-L-L (3 pts)
Longford Town: W-W-L-W-L-W (12 pts)
Recent games at home to Longford Town
20-Jul-04 – Lost 1-2 (League Cup)
30-Apr-05 – Drew 0-0 (Premier Division)
22-Oct-05 – Won 5-0 (Premier Division)
14-Mar-09 – Won 1-0 (First Division)
04-Sep-09 – Won 1-0 (First Division)
14-May-10 – Won 2-0 (First Division)
Finn Harps Goalscorers 2011
Kevin McHugh – 3
Gareth Harkin – 1
Finn Harps Results 2011 (Harps goalscorer in brackets)
19th April 2011 – FD – Athlone Town 1-0 Finn Harps
15th April 2011 – FD – Cork City 5-0 Finn Harps
8th April 2011 – FD – Finn Harps 0-0 Salthill Devon
28th March 2011 – EA – Mervue United 1-0 Finn Harps
25th March 2011 – FD – Waterford United 1-0 Finn Harps
18th March 2011 – FD – Finn Harps 2-2 Monaghan United (McHugh 2)
4th March 2011 – FD – Finn Harps 2-2 Limerick (McHugh, Harkin)Tags: