Derry City are hoping to make it two wins from three games this evening.
Derry City vs. Sligo Rovers
Ruaidhri Higgins has warned that Derry City’s victory over Shamrock Rovers will mean nothing if they don’t beat Sligo Rovers this evening.
Jamie McGonigle’s last gasp winner against the champions sparked terrific scenes of celebration at the Brandywell on Friday night, with the Candystripes now sitting top of the Premier Division with four points after two games.
But Higgins has quickly refocused with Sligo coming to the Brandywell hoping to add to their victory at St. Patrick’s Athletic in their first game of the season.
“It’s a fantastic return but there’s no point picking up four points from those types of games and not following it up,” he said. “It’s up to us to refocus the players and remain professional and try and prepare in the best possible manner to go again against a team who have gone to Inchicore and won comfortably, and not many teams will do that.
“No one is talking about Sligo but they will have ambitions to do well and we know that. They have got smashing players right throughout their team so if we take them lightly then they will beat us.”
Jamie McGonigle has been the name on everyone’s lips since his winner on Friday night, but Higgins insists it is a team effort, and not about any one individual.
“It was an amazing goal, in the circumstances, in the 95th minute to have that pace and power and composure,” he agreed. “He’s had a brilliant start to the season but we have got a lot of really good players here and they are all chipping in. Jamie has two., Will Patching has one and Joe Thomson has one so it’s important that we all chip in and take responsibility. Everyone is working really hard, the staff as well as the players and I’m very fortunate.
“I’m so lucky to have an assistant manager like Alan Reynolds here. With his experience, with his coaching ability, he’s an amazing foil for me as are the rest of the staff. I’m really fortunate to have good staff, a good board and good players as well. I get a bit embarrassed to be honest when you get all these plaudits but we’ve done absolutely nothing yet, and I mean nothing.
“We’ve taken four points from two difficult fixtures but there’s so much more football to play and if we get carried away at all, we’ll get turned over and that’s what happens in this league.”
Ciaron Harkin will miss out on what would have been his 100th appearance this evening due to an injury picked up against Rovers, while Michael Duffy and Matty Smith continue to miss out. The manager is confident in the squad at his disposal and the 12th man, which he believes played a huge role in City’s late winner on Friday.
“It doesn’t happen otherwise,” he said. “The supporters give the players the energy to go right to the end. What isn’t a fluke is scoring late goals because even when there wasn’t supporters, we did score a lot of late goals, but to go that late into the game with that much energy and the noise - even thinking about the noise when the goal went in makes the hair stand on the back of my neck – hopefully the players and the supporters can have the same energy on Monday.”
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