Derry City come up against Dundalk for the second time in a week  (Credit: John-Paul McGinley)

European dogfight continues for Derry
Published: August 20, 2017

The European dogfight will continue today at Maginn Park as Derry City take on Dundalk for the second time in the space of a week.

 

A Gary Shaw brace saw the Shamrock Rovers earn all three points at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday evening and Stephen Bradley's side went two points behind the Candystripes, who sit in third.

 

It was exactly the kind of week needed for Shamrock Rovers after a damaging 2-0 loss against Derry City at the start of the month. League wins in the last week against Limerick and Galway United has seen the Hoops turn an eight point deficit down to two points.

 

The Candystripes have a game in hand but that match is against Dundalk today. Derry City manager Kenny Shiels knows if his side can turn over the Lilywhites they will sit comfortably going into the final third of the season, with a five-point advantage over Rovers.

 

Rebuilding team morale was prioritised this week after the Foylesiders crashed out of the FAI Cup last 16 against Dundalk, who won convincingly 4-0 last Sunday.

 

Speaking to Drive105, Shiels said: "Well, we've been working hard on that side of it this week," he said.

 

"We know we let ourselves down and we've gone there (Oriel Park) without a right-back and we knew it was going to be difficult. Three of the four goals have come from that area.

 

"It was hard to take because I know we would have done so much better (with a right-back) because if you put a square peg in a round hole, and it doesn't help how you go against the ball, and that was a big weakness that we had," he said.

 

Shiels also insisted being ahead of Shamrock Rovers was an achievement in itself at this stage of the season.

 

"We can only control what we can control and that's what we do," he said.

 

"To be ahead of Shamrock Rovers at any stage of a season, under the current climate, is a remarkable achievement.

 

"I feel like the boys deserve credit for being ahead of Rovers never mind challenging them," Shiels said.

 

The Candystripes should have Harry Monaghan and Lukas Schubert available for selection after both struggled to train this week and Conor McDermott is in line to return to the starting XI.


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Shaun Keenan

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