Greg Sloggett knows that Derry City cannot afford to slip up in the final game of the season against Finn Harps.
Greg Sloggett insists that Derry City players need to ‘make it right’ and secure European qualification in the final game of the season against Finn Harps at the Brandywell this Friday night.
The midfielder believes there are no excuses for the manner of Tuesday’s defeat to St. Patrick’s Athletic, which has all but ended the Candystripes’ hopes of finishing third and has put them under added pressure to get the one point they need against their Northwest rivals.
City are still expected to get the job done against Harps but Tuesday’s defeat served as a timly warning that nothing is yet certain.
“It’s kind of hard to put your finger on it,” he said. “I’m surprised with ourselves given what was at stake that we didn’t kick on. It’s a disappointing night there’s no two ways about it and we’re disappointed with the result and we need to put that right on Friday night.
“There are factors out of our control like we had a fixture on Saturday with a heavy pitch in Sligo but it’s not an excuse. We needed to bring more to the game and we didn’t and we’ve come out on the wrong side.”
It all looked to be going City’s way when David Parkhouse gave them the lead in the early stages of the second half, but a quick equaliser from Chris Forrester plus two goals in three minutes from substitute James Doona meant that St. Pat’s gave themselves one more fighting chance of stealing fourth place from Derry City.
“We expected to kick on and win the game from there but they score and get a bit of a momentum shift and the ball has fallen their way of the second goal and we are chasing the game,” Sloggett reflected.
“No matter what stage of the season you’re at, when you lose a game you want the next game to come as quickly as possible and we’re lucky in that sense. We’ll freshen up and we’ll be ready to go and we’ll put another three points on the board hopefully.”
Tuesday’s game was City’s second in four days after a break of 15, an inconsistency in the scheduling that has happened more than once this season. Again, however, Sloggett dismissed that as an excuse.
“This is what the league decides,” he continued.
“The international fixtures came at a strange time and this is the way that the games fell. We needed to deal with that but we’re disappointed with that.
“We’ll have to go back and look at it and see where we went wrong and where we can make things better. They were good on the night and played with a lot of energy and we failed to match that. We can’t make excuses and we have to go and fix things.”
After the celebrations at Sligo on Saturday past, it was widely expected that City would get the point they needed on Tuesday night to secure Europa League football at the Brandywell next season. The fact that they didn’t surprised many, but Sloggett dismissed suggestions of complacency.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
“I think we came with the intention to win the game because we were targeting that third spot. It’s out of our hands now but it’s still a possibility. I don’t think we came complacent.
“We’re obviously very disappointed with our performance and not to have kicked on and won the game when we went 1-0 up but we have to put that right.
“I think at the start of the season you would have taken a win in your last game to qualify for Europe and hopefully we can go and do that.”
Meanwhile, City striker David Parkhouse has been named in the PFAI Team of the Year and has also been nominated for the Young Player of the Year award.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com at any time.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from Derrynow.com
Buy the e-paper of the Derry News and the County Derry Post here for instant access to Derry's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Derry with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.