Malahide United manager Pete Mahon says only a place in the FAI Cup third round will do after he admitted this season has been a disappointment for the club.
His north Dublin team will travel to Cork to face Mayfield United in the second round of the FAI Ford Cup on the weekend ending June 8.
The Gannon Park outfit previously reached the third round of this competition in 2010 and 2012, but ex-UCD boss Mahon says anything less than progress will compound a miserable campaign for his current club.
“To be brutally honest with you, it’s been a very poor season all around for me and the club,” he admitted.
“We’ve dropped 22 points against sides in the bottom half of the table and, although the results have improved since I took over in January, they had to; otherwise, we could have been relegated.
“It’s been a frustrating time.”
Mahon puts that feeling down to extraneous factors, including injuries, holidays and the fixture schedule this season.
“We’ve gone weeks without playing a competitive fixture; our next and final league game is not until Wednesday week.
“And if we progress to the third round, we could find ourselves playing in the FAI Cup whilst trying to arrange our pre-season for next year.”
Malahide, establish in 1944, are currently sixth in the Leinster Senior League Sunday Division with one league game left to play and their safety assured.
Despite battling against relegation for much of the season, Mahon’s side has shown improved form since the turn of the year; losing just four from 12 league games.
At the end of last month, they defeated Tolka Rovers in the first round before being drawn to face Mayfield, who received a bye, in the second round.
The north-east Cork club made the third round back in 2009 before suffering an 8-1 drubbing by Bohemian Football Club.
But Mahon, who managed St Francis FC when they were the last amateur side to reach the FAI Cup final in 1990, says there is a lot of work to be done both ahead of their up-coming FAI Cup clash and next season.
“We know absolutely nothing about them [Mayfield], so we will need to do some research on them,” said Mahon of his team’s second round opponents.
“But what has disappointed me the most is that, in the win over Tolka Rovers in the first round, we showed how well we can play, but we’ve missed out on points in the league where we shouldn’t have.”