30 Sept 2022

'It's so good to be back!' Michael Duffy determined to make up for lost time with Derry City

Duffy looking forward to Drogheda trip this weekend

Derry City

Michael Duffy is getting back to full fitness after a long spell out with injury.

Michael Duffy is hoping to make up for lost time after a season of injury frustration with Derry City.

City fans may have left the Brandywell disappointed at the 0-0 draw with Shamrock Rovers on Friday past, but the return of Duffy is a huge boost, with City still in contention in two competitions between now and the end of the season.

Duffy has appeared in City’s last three games and is being eased back into the team after a four-month lay-off due to a broken leg suffered in the game against Drogheda United at the Brandywell back in March. Alan Mannus denied him his first City goal in his second spell at the club, but he is delighted to be back in action at a crucial time of the season.

“It’s great to be back,” he said. “I’ve been looking forward to that moment now, since, I don’t know how long it’s been, but it feels like it’s been forever, to play at home in front of a packed crowd. I just wish I had scored, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m just glad to be back.

“I feel great now, thanks to Mickey (Hegarty) and Kev (McCreadie) who have brought me back in great condition. I just need more game time now, but it is great to be back and I’m feeling sharp. I just hope now to get more minutes before the end of the year.”

Duffy is almost certain to feature again against Drogheda this weekend as City aim to get back to winning ways after successive draws against the top two in the Premier Division.  

“I just hope I get through the rest of the season with no more knocks,” he said. “I’m feeling good now so hopefully it can stay that way. I look forward to getting that goal. I thought it was the night when I was getting played in, but it wasn’t meant to be and hopefully now on Friday I can go and do it.”


‘What if?’

Duffy’s return is good news for manager Ruaidhri Higgins, who wonders just how close to league leaders Rovers his team would be had the forward been available all season.

“You can look at it and go, we are eight off Rovers but what would it potentially be if Michael was fit all season?” he said. “It’s been a tough year for Michael. I have to say his attitude since he’s had the injury has been absolutely amazing. His drive and his will to get fit and to get back on the pitch is a credit to himself and he should be very proud of the condition he has come back in. I think that it is a good time of the season if you are going to get your best player back, the business end of the season is the time for it.”

Higgins was as frustrated as anyone that his team couldn’t force the winning goal on Friday night, but takes some consolation that his team are slowly but surely heading in the right direction.

“We are not a million miles away, there’s no doubt about that and we’ll kick on,” he continued. “There’s no point in putting in a performance like that and not going and picking up three points next week. We have to go and try and get points in the board and put a run together.

“I know what direction we’re going in and I know what we’re trying to do. I think we should be a bit closer that what we are but to be fair, Rovers do that well. They dig out results and to be fair to them, they have done brilliantly to get into group stages in Europe. I do think were on the cusp of having a really good and competitive team and it’s exciting to be a part of it and to be leading it and looking forward for what’s to come.”


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