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26 May 2022

Higgins confident players can bounce back at Drogheda

Derry City on the road again

Derry City

Derry City head to Drogheda United today hoping to get back to winning ways.

Drogheda United vs. Derry City

Tonight, 7:45pm 

Ruaidhri Higgins says he is not concerned by the character of his team as they head to Drogheda United today hoping to bounce back from their first defeat of the season.

Shelbourne’s win at the Brandywell on Friday night was a shock to the system for the players and fans alike, especially after a dominant first half and a 1-0 half time lead. But Damien Duff’s side completely turned it around in the second half to end City’s 14 game undefeated streak which stretched back to last October. Higgins though had no complaints with the result, stating that Shelbourne were the hungrier team in the second half.

“I’m disappointed obviously,” he said. “I thought in the first half we were very good but in the second half we never got started. They were hungrier which was disappointing and we struggled to claw our way back into the half. In the first half we were the better team, in the second half they were the better team, it’s as simple as that.

“They are extremely fit and strong and defensively sound. To be fair we still created a decent number of good chances and on anther night you take them.”

City had no shortage of chances to get something from the game, and were also denied a goal when Cameron McJannet’s header was ruled out. That controversy aside, it was a case of not taking chances for Higgins.

“When you’re dominant in the game in this league the way we were in the first half you have to go and put teams away and smell blood,” he stated. “With our dominance in the game we would have liked to go in two up at half time but it wasn’t to be and it gave them life and energy and they proved in the second half that if you don’t match that you can come unstuck and we were punished.

“I’m not going to criticise the players because they have been outstanding for a long period of time. It’s a bump in the road but the good thing about this is that we have Monday night so it’s just a couple of days and we go again.”

With Shamrock Rovers winning 1-0 against St. Patrick’s Athletic, the lead at the top is now down to three points ahead of the trip to Head in the Game Park.

“We have to be positive,” Higgins continued. “There was no roaring and shouting in there, just where we could have been better in the second half and I think everyone was in agreement. We have an opportunity now to bounce back and go to a really difficult venue and try and pick up a big three points.

“Character doesn’t concern me at all. We have got good professionals in there and really good players. We’ll go to Drogheda full of hunger and confidence to try and pick up three points.”

Drogheda challenge

Before Friday’s defeat, City’s last league defeat came at Drogheda towards the end of last season, and having also narrowly come through an FAI Cup tie there during the summer, Higgins knows exactly the challenge awaiting his team this evening.

“Drogheda are a good team, a really good team,” he said. “They are well-organised and there’s some really good individual players to so we need to be solely prepared for that game and go there and try and get the three points.

“The players don’t need lifting because they have been on a brilliant run with a really good points return. It’s disappointing to lose but we can’t dwell on it for too long. We need to man up, step up, get on with it and go to Drogheda and try to win the game.”

Meanwhile, Higgins confirmed that goalkeeper Brian Maher missed the Shelbourne game due to illness, and will likely miss this evening’s game at Drogheda also.

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