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FOOTBALL: WE CAN TAKE ON THE BEST; LEAGUE CUP: BOHS v DROGHEDA, TONIGHT Lester insists Drogheda fear no one now.

Byline: PAUL KEANE

JOHN LESTER had told his Drogheda United team-mates they can take on the best - and beat them.

Lester will come up against his former club, Bohemians, in the League Cup tonight - a tie that would have been billed as a mismatch a few seasons ago.

But things have changed on Boyneside and Lester is instrumental in the turn of fortunes as a controlling force in midfield since his close season switch from Bohs.

The powerful playmaker is highly thought of by boss Paul Doolin and has been an excellent acquisition for Drogheda.

Drogs are now playing the type of football that Bohs are more famed for and getting the results too - their third place in the league table testament to that.

Lester said: "The team as a whole is excellent at Drogheda and I think we can match any of the top teams.

"There's good footballers here and it's great to play with them.

"Paul is such a good manager too and personally it's great because he played in the same position as me and he knows how to help me along. He's definitely made me a better player."

Doolin himself joked that Drogheda just want to stay away from third from bottom never mind third from top.

But behind closed doors there's a serious resolve to maintain their earlier season title challenge.Lester, who was farmed out to Monaghan on loan while at Bohs, said: "We've got to set our standards high.

"Paul has said to us that if we just keep playing the way we have been doing then there's no reason we can't be up there.

"We've had a really good run of form lately and of course we all want to keep that going."

All going to plan that form will help Drogs into the knockout stages of the League Cup.

United would be favourites to progress only for their deduction of their three points in the 4-1 win over Dundalk last Monday night for fielding the suspended Glen Lacey.

A win will still put Drogheda through at the expense of tonight's opponents.

He added: "The League Cup is not the be all and end all but it's a competition we'd love to win, why not?

"After getting the points deducted it would be a really great thing to do as well."

CAPTION(S):

JOHN Lester has been in top form since his move to Drogheda
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 17, 2004
Words:403
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