Higgins hopes return of fans can deliver home comforts for Derry City
SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Derry City v Bohemians (tonight, 7.45pm)
DERRY City manager Ruaidhri Higgins hopes fans returning to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium tonight can inspire his side to see off Bohemians.
The Candystripes, who are aiming for their first win of the season at home, go into the encounter against Keith Long’s men raring to go for the second half of the campaign and will be looking to keep their recent good form going.
Prior to the mid-season break, City secured an impressive 2-1 win at fourth-placed Drogheda United, thanks to Will Patching’s brace and Higgins hopes supporters at the Brandywell this evening will give his side that extra boost.
“I’m delighted the fans are back. It’s obviously been a long time coming but it’s great to see things on the move and hopefully before too long we can have a packed Brandywell,” Higgins said.
“It gives the players an extra buzz of course. Even though the numbers aren’t massive, it still gives the players a lift and they will bring a bit of noise to the ground.
“I’m sure the people getting in can’t wait to get back and that they have missed their routine of getting to the Brandywell on a Friday night, so hopefully we can put on a display for them.”
The Dubliners have already lost six times in their opening 14 league games but prior to the break had secured two wins on the bounce and Higgins is expecting a tough test.
“In their last five games they have scored a lot of goals and conceded only three so they have improved as the season has developed, but so have we,” he added.
“I do believe it will be a tight game, but they are in exceptional form; they beat Dundalk five, they beat Waterford well and they beat Finn Harps well, so they are beating teams well, but we’ll be prepared and ready to go and hopefully we can get a favourable result.
“It’s a match we’re really looking forward to. It will be great to see a bit of red and white in the stands and to hear a bit of noise so we’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can send them home happy.”
The Candystripes will be without defender Darren Cole, who misses out through suspension after getting sent-off at Head in the Game Park a few weeks ago, while Danny Lupano is a slight injury doubt.
Elsewhere tonight bottom side Waterford travel to Dundalk, who under caretaker boss Jim Magilton will be looking to start getting a run together. In the First Division the match of the night sees promotion hopefuls Bray Wanderers hosting leaders Shelbourne; Cabinteely travel to Cork City; Galway United entertain Athlone Town; Cobh Ramblers travel to UCD and Wexford face Treaty United.
While tomorrow night in the Premier Division, leaders Sligo Rovers have home advantage over Tim Clancy’s Drogheda and St Patrick’s Athletic make the trip to Longford Town.