Barry McNamee is congratulated by his team mates after scoring the winning goal against Sligo Rovers.
Declan Devine believes that his team are still in the driving seat, despite deserving to lose against St. Patrick’s Athletic on Tuesday night.
The surprising loss to St. Pat’s has added just a touch more pressure ahead of tomorrow night’s game against Finn Harps, with a point still required to qualify for European football. Devine admitted that the better team won on Tuesday.
"Even when we went 1-0 up I didn't feel confident,” he admitted.
“I thought we were very open and let them have too much of the ball. On another night they probably could've hurt us more. But we gave away poor goals, really bad goals and we didn't take the half chances we created but overall St Pat's deserved to win the game.
"Fortunately enough we've done a lot of good work early on this season and we're still in the driving seat going forward.
"We've been poor," he admitted. "It's the first time I can actually stand here and say we weren't at the races for one reason or the other. Collectively, as a team, we weren't good enough. St Pat's deserved to win the game. They were better than us in every area so that's something we have to reflect on. It just wasn't like us.”
St. Patrick’s Athletic must defeat Dundalk at Oriel Park and hope that City slip up against Finn Harps if they are to have any chance of stealing fourth place. The odds are still very much in City’s favour but Devine is taking nothing for granted.
"We've got to lose here on Friday night and St Pat's have to win at the champions on TV so there's a lot of different things that can get us across the line,” he acknowledged.
"I'd still rather be in the position we're in as opposed to the position St Pat's are in but fair play to them they deserved their win.
"I'm still confident and have a high level of belief in the players in the dressing room but we made it difficult and made it drag out a bit more. We've now got to make sure we have a better application come Friday night."
Tomorrow’s game will be the 42nd of Derry City’s season and at the end of a long and challenging season, there is just one more task to complete. Tiredness could well have played a part in Tuesday’s defeat, Devine admitted.
“Maybe it was the extra day's rest, I'd have to watch it again but it certainly wasn't like the way we've performed all year,” he said.
“It was very unlike us. We didn't have too many players who were better than average. We had a couple of decent performances but that's not enough when you're playing your biggest competitors for a European place.
"They came with a better appetite which is worrying for me but I have to back these bunch of players because over the course of the year they've been magnificent and I'm still confident we'll get across the line.”
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