Duff turns attention to FAI Cup

Shelbourne FC Head Coach Damien Duff says the players will show Bonagee United the respect they deserve ahead of the Reds trip north for the FAI Cup clash on Friday.  

A strong travelling support will make the trip to Dry Arch Park for the game with Bonagee United.

The Donegal side will be buoyed having secured their first ever win in the competition in the first round.

Tony McNamee hit the net twice as Bonagee United sent Pike Rovers packing with a comfortable 6-0 win in the FAI Cup.

The former Finn Harps man scored either side of half-time as the Ulster Senior League side secured safe passage to the next round to set up a date with Shels.

Duff told Shelbournefc.ie he is wary of underestimating the opposition: “We’ve watched the footage of them, they’re still an unknown quantity. We’ll treat this the same way go into every league game, I’m not one to disrespect opposition, the beauty of the cup is matches like these, we know the expectation is on us, and we will be ready for a very difficult game.

“I know it’s a big occasion for both clubs, and we’re looking forward to it, it’s a great competition and we just have to focus on our job and what we have to do, and try not to get caught up on the occasion.”

The Reds head into this one off the back of the 1-1 draw with Bohs in the Dublin Derby, Duff was pleased with the performance and praised the character shown by the players to overcome the obstacles thrown at them, Duff said: “It was a great point, our best of the season. In those circumstances, to lose Aaron O’Driscoll and Luke Byrne early on, to concede a poor goal, to go a man down with JR’s red card, and to still produce a performance and get a result, it was a very good response to the Drogheda loss.”

The Shels boss also spoke of the special atmosphere created by the fans at Tolka Park a week ago, and paid tribute to the supporters involved in creating the incredible display pre-game. Duff told Shelbournefc.ie: “It was a special night, the atmosphere at Tolka is something that will stick with me, the supporters display was very moving. That message, it’s simple but so important and it touches so many people: ‘Mind yourself, mind your mates, mind your family’.”

“There was an amazing picture of the fans display in the Riverside stand, Eoin Smith took the photo. It’s a powerful message and the picture sums up what this club is about. I got Eoin’s picture blown up and printed, it’s going to hang pride of place on the office wall.”

“It was an emotional occasion, we honoured people who passed away from Shels, and for Bohs, they are mourning the sad loss of Derek ‘Mono’ Monaghan. A person who was such an important part of their club and culture, I want to pass on my condolences to his family and everyone involved at his club. “

Shels will be without Dan Hawkins and Mark Coyle who remain sidelined with injury, the game will come too soon for Luke Byrne and Aaron O’Driscoll who are also unavailable due to injury.

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