ON THE BALL... Derry City midfielder Jack Malone takes control during the second half of Friday's game at the RSC. Photo: Kevin Moore
Alan Reynolds believes he knows exactly what Declan Devine is going through at the minute, insisting he went through the same thing last season.
The Waterford boss has had to watch some of the club's finest players leave in recent times, with the likes of Bastien Hery going to Linfield and Rory Feely joining St. Patrick's Athletic to name a few. Reynolds has watched several players leave the Blues in the past two seasons and he feels he knows the challenges facing Devine this season.
“To come from behind and beat a good team like Derry who finished fourth last year, we're thrilled with that,” he said.
“You can see with Decky, he is in the same situation I was in last year – he's lost a lot of his main players, his top players, and he's rebuilding and it's going to take time and it's exactly the way I was with it last year, and again this year. We're still delighted to beat them because they are a fantastic club. I have a lot of time for the lads and I had a good time up there, so to beat Derry City at any time is great.”
Waterford picked up their first home win at the third attempt thanks to a wonder goal from Shane Griffin, but Reynolds admitted he did not see the victory coming.
“We were 1-0 down against a really good side,” he continued. “I didn't see it coming and I thought if anyone was going to score in the second half it was Derry. They are a really good footballing team and we are delighted to beat them. We were on the receiving end of it last year, losing to them a few times, so we're delighted to win against a really good side.
“They were fantastic goals from young footballers who were given their chance here. They are thrilled with it. It is all in their learning and they need to improve but they are working hard on the training ground. I've seen them and others work on their finishing and you reap your rewards.”
Waterford were the more threatening team throughout Friday's game and looked the more likely to win the game, especially in the closing stages.
“I'm not so sure,” Reynolds countered. “I thought they had a spell where if anyone was going to win it in the second half it was them. It took a wonder strike. Even though we had a lot of good chances, they had a lot of possession, even though they weren't really hurting us. We defended really well and you always have to do that, but Decky is rebuilding a team. It's very difficult. It will take time.”
Waterford have now devastated Derry City with late goals on two of their last three visits to the RSC, taking four points in the process, and Reynolds admitted that there is rarely a dull moment when the teams meet.
“It was a wonder strike but I think we were here on another day and Darren Cole scores a wonder goal,” he said. “We have been on the receiving end – we've lost in extra time up there in a cup as well. They have great people up there, and it will take time and I'm delighted to beat them.”
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