Damien Richardson has said he sees Darius Kierans as “an important part of the future of Drogheda United” as the new manager settles into life at the club.

Richardson was appointed boss until the end of the season with former caretaker boss Kierans, who oversaw the 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers, staying on as number two.

Richardson told RTÉ Sport: "I was very impressed with the way the team was set out last Friday. Even though they were pushed by Rovers very late in the game, they stood up to it very well. Darius deserves great credit for what he has done in a short period of time.

“I could have brought my own people in but at this stage of the season, it would have been ridiculous to change things too much. Impressed as I was, looking for the continuity as well, it made eminent sense to keep him in the assistant's role.

“I think he will be an important part of the future of Drogheda United.”

The victory over the Hoops gives Drogheda hopes of pulling clear of the relegation battle and laying eyes on sixth position in the table, with the top half only six points away.

Richardson said the performance in Tallaght made the post even more desirable.

“That was part of the attraction. It was a very good performance by the players on Friday. There was a great spirit amongst them and organisational ability from Darius and Neale Fenn.

“Everything was very positive and when I met the chairman on Saturday morning, the two things came together. It was a very easy decision for me to join Drogheda.

"I’m delighted because it means I'm working with young talented people. It was great to be on the training ground on Monday night. I'm looking forward to Friday night (against UCD) and taking it on from there."

“At my stage of life it is great to have this wonderful opportunity.”

The former Cork City boss was a surprise appointment at United Park. He is set to turn 67 on Saturday and returns to management and coaching 25 years on from his first role as youth team manager at Gillingham.

He said he still has the drive for the chance that presented itself and believe Drogheda can improve on their current eighth place in the league.

"We are too low in the table for the quality that is in the team. That's obvious to everybody. Therefore we have to work harder to make sure we move up that table and out of this situation. That's the real challenge for me.

"I like the fact that the players responded last week to the challenge but it has to be week in, week out, until the end of the season. The players have let down themselves a little bit this season. They know that. Now we have to make up for lost time.

"There was a great determination in training on Monday.

"There was a great resoluteness that was also impressive, but that has to be displayed every Friday night in games and we have to accumulate more wins.

"We have to do full justice to the stature of the football club and town we represent. At my stage of life it is great to have this wonderful opportunity."