Guard of honour for Rovers will provide motivation says Derry keeper Maher

Derry City keeper Brian Maher Picture: Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus Crudden

GOALKEEPER Brian Maher admits Derry City players will use having to do a 'guard of honour' for Premier Division champions Shamrock Rovers on Sunday as motivation as their title challenge finally ended with Monday night's goalless draw against Sligo Rovers.

The Republic of Ireland international also concedes that the '30-second gesture' won't change their mindset of trying to defeat Stephen Bradley's men at an expected packed Tallaght Stadium on Sunday night.

"I don't think anyone wants to do it, but I think we'll have to do that now, but yeah it's something that we can put in the bank and it will be an experience that we'll not want to do again," he insisted.

"Listen, we'll go down there wanting to win the game, so doing something for 30 seconds before the game won't change that mindset for us.

"Look party aside for them and whatever they've got planned, we want to beat them.

"We've had a fairly decent record against them and even in the two games that we didn't win we should have won, so yeah we're going down there looking to win the game, we're going to treat it like any other game and it will be good for us before the cup final."

Maher feels that the Candystripes want to get some momentum going into next month's FAI Cup Final against Shelbourne, after drawing their last two matches against Damien Duff's men and Sligo Rovers and he also feels that playing the Hoops and European chasing Dundalk are perfect games to finish their league campaign.

"To be fair we have two tough games, as we're playing first and third in the league and to be honest they're probably two games that are good for us before going into the cup final," he added.

"We need to go into the final flying and because of that playing (Shamrock) Rovers and Dundalk are probably two good games for us."

The 21-year-old shot-stopper was disappointed after Monday night's scoreless draw at Sligo Rovers meant that the Tallaght men clinched their third title in a row.

"I don't think we played badly at Sligo but again the final third let us down. We're disappointed with what that draw means to us, but all in all we can sit back and reflect on a positive season," he said.

"Look we want to win every game, but we haven't lost domestically since we last came here in May, so it tells you the run that we've been on, but unfortunately it's come up short, however you could see it's not from the lack of trying.

"We put ourselves in a position to chase them down and I think they really took notice of that and I think everyone could see that. But yeah we're disappointed although it has been a strong season and an improvement on last year and it's our first year together as a team."