The Finn Harps players may well troop off the pitch against Shamrock Rovers tomorrow and hear some good news from Cork!
Should Cork City beat UCD, then Finn Harps are assured all but mathematically of a relegation play-off spot.
Currently, Harps’ goal difference is 17 better than that of the Students, so even if Harps lose to Rovers, UCD will effectively be down if they fall in Cork as they would be six points behind with just two games left.
Experienced midfielder Gareth Harkin is well aware of the various permutations, but he insists that Harps must look at their own game. “I know if Cork win it will help us a bit as our goal difference is a lot better but we can’t be relying on other results at this time of the season, we just have to focus on ourselves.
“Shamrock Rovers are the second best team in the league and are cup finalists, so it will be a tough test but one we will look forward to.”
This will be the fourth meeting of the sides this year, with Harps having lost them all, three in the league, plus an FAI Cup exit.
“We haven’t got anything off them this year. In the cup it was one of our better performances and we were beaten 1-0. But they are the only team in the league we haven’t got any points off this year.”
Harkin pointed out that with the prospect of a play-off on the horizon, it is important for Harps to build confidence and play well.
After Rovers, Harps have their final home game, against Waterford, and then travel to the Brandywell to take on Derry City.
“It’s three tough games,” he noted.
While he was disappointed that Harps were held to a scoreless draw by UCD, he pointed out that they had at least created a lot of chances.
He added that while players are thinking of the play-offs there is no talk yet about them until the matter is put to bed.
P33 Pts 19 GD -19
v. Cork City (a)
v. Shamrock Rovers (h)
v. Waterford (a)
P33 Pts 25 GD -34
v. Shamrock Rovers (a)
v. Waterford (h)
v. Derry City (a)
P33 Pts 31 GD - 19
v. UCD (h)
v. Dundalk (h)
v. Shamrock Rovers (a)
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