Higgins keen for Derry to maintain cup supremacy over Rovers
FAI Cup quarter-final: Derry City v Shamrock Rovers (tomorrow, 5pm, live on RTÉ2)
MANAGER Ruaidhrí Higgins hopes the Derry City fans play their part in tomorrow's FAI Cup quarter-final tie against champions Shamrock Rovers.
Higgins admits his side's good form will be massively tested at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium against the Dubliners and he believes the Candystripes faithful have a major role to play.
“Our supporters have been a massive part of us doing well in recent weeks,” he insisted.
“The two 1-0 home wins against Bohs and Sligo, our supporters were huge in making sure we got over the line in both games and we need them again on Sunday.”
Derry have never lost to the Hoops in the FAI Cup; the two teams have met seven times over the years with City winning five games and the other two matches were draws and Higgins wants that run to continue as he admits winning the cup is a major priority.
“I think given the history that we have in the cup, people want a day out in November, there's no doubt our supporters crave that, I crave it, the players also crave it,” he added.
“I know people might have accused me of playing stuff down, but I'm not playing this down, we want to win the cup and to do that we have to beat Shamrock Rovers and I know we're capable of doing that.
“We have prepared well and we'll be looking to have a really good rattle at trying to get into the semi-final, but ultimately we're two games away from getting to the Aviva Stadium and that's the way we have to think.
“Sunday is a huge test but one I'm sure the players are more than capable of passing.”
Stephen Bradley's men come into the tie following Thursday night's 3-0 loss to Belgium side Gent in the Europa League Conference, but the Derry gaffer feels the Tallaght men's squad will be able to cope with the hectic schedule.
“If any squad in the country to have the capacity to deal with that scenario, then it's them,” he said.
“They played in Europe last Thursday and they were 4-0 up at half-time against Finn Harps, on the Sunday.
“They have got that experience and as I said they've got the squad. There have been three tight matches against them this season already and I can't see it being much different on Sunday, but we'll give it a good crack and see how we go.”
The Limavady native confirmed that defender Ciaran Coll is their only injury doubt going into tomorrow evening's tie after the injury he suffered in last Friday night's win over Bohemians.
“We're going to leave it to the last minute and see how Ciaran is and obviously Ciaron Harkin is still out, but everyone else are good to go,” explained Higgins.
FAI Cup quarter-finals
Derry City v Shamrock Rovers (5pm)
Shelbourne v Bohemians (2pm)