Football/Soccer

Derry City boss Kenny Shiels rates Candystripes as underdogs for Shamrock Rovers clash

Derry City boss Kenny Shiels rates his side as underdogs against Shamrock Rovers

DERRY City manager Kenny Shiels feels his side will be go into tonight's clash with Shamrock Rovers, as underdogs.

The Dubliners along with runaway leaders Cork City and second placed Bray Wanderers are the in-form sides in the Premier Division, with Rovers taking 10 points from their last six games.

"Shamrock Rovers have the strongest panel of players in the league in every aspect and that's where we can get some satisfaction,” admitted Shiels.

“I'm amazed, that despite everything we have gone through this season, we are a point ahead of Shamrock Rovers going into the latter part of May. That's unbelievable.

“I never expected to be ahead of them because of the money they have spent and the players they have brought in.

“They have taken the two best players from Dundalk, they have taken players from England, they have brought in so many good players that it's unbelievable that we are a point ahead of them and that

gives us some hope.”

Stephen Bradley's side are moving up the table and Shiels is expecting them to really kick-on in the second half of the season and he's warning his players to make sure that they are ready for another battle against Rovers.

Earlier in the season the Candystripes secured a narrow 1-0 win thanks to a goal from the late Ryan McBride.

“They have the strongest team in the league, they have the most physical team, but they have the worst disciplinary record in the league and I just hope that we have good protection for our players,” added the Derry gaffer.

“We don't go in with fear, but sometimes that can have an influence on young players and we have to make them aware that they have to battle and fight against this team.

“We're all shocked that Rovers are not up at the top of the table along with Cork and I think it should only be a matter of time.

“They have a great deck of cards in the players that they have and I think they are going to be hard to beat in the second half of the season.

“It's a good measurement for us to see how we do against this great team.”

City welcome back winger Lukas Schubert, but striker Rory Patterson remains on the treatment table.

Elsewhere tonight leaders Cork City, will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Drogheda United.

Champions Dundalk travel to Markets Field where Limerick's new manager Neil McDonald is likely to be sitting in the stands.

Bray Wanderers take on Bohemians and Gerry Flynn's Sligo Rovers' side make the trip to Richmond Park to face St Patrick's Athletic.

In the First Division, leaders Waterford face Longford Town; Cobh Ramblers travel to UCD; Wexford have home advantage over Shelbourne and tomorrow night Cabinteely host Athlone Town.

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