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Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins shocked by Barnsley advance

Ruaidhrí Higgins says he is fully committed to Derry City despite interest from Barnsley Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Ruaidhrí Higgins says he is fully committed to Derry City despite interest from Barnsley Picture by Margaret McLaughlin Ruaidhrí Higgins says he is fully committed to Derry City despite interest from Barnsley Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

DERRY City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins admitted talks to become the new Barnsley manager came as a massive shock to him.

 The Limavady man, who only last week celebrated his 100th game in charge of the club, held talks with the League One side over the weekend after being granted permission from the Brandywell hierarchy to do so.

 "To be honest the Barnsley stuff came completely out of the blue," insisted Higgins.


 "The club received an approach and I was granted permission and I had a couple of conversations. I certainly didn't put my name in the hat that's for sure, I was approached via the club and that's where that is now.


 "We're now really looking forward to the future at this club, I have been totally committed to Derry City and I remain totally committed to the club.


 "I love it here and Philip (O'Doherty Chairman) and Sean (Barrett Director) and the club have been absolutely brilliant to me from day one.

 "I'm looking forward to the rest of the season, we've worked extremely hard over the last couple of years to have a strong group here.

 "Yes results have been up and down this season, we're confident we're going in the right direction and we can take this club to a place that it hasn't been for a long time. To be honest that has been the goal from day one and will continue to be the goal and there's brilliant days ahead.


 "I can't control anything in terms of clubs looking at us, all I can do is control what we're trying to do here and if people are seeing that we're doing good things here that's brilliant, but we're totally focused on the job in hand here.


 "One thing is for sure that my commitment can never be in question."


 The Candy Stripes face Sligo Rovers, at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium tonight, in what really is a must win game, as it will be their final league game for a number of weeks, as both their Europa Conference League campaign and FAI Cup defence will take centre stage in the coming weeks.


 "It's our last league game for a month, so we need to try and pick up the three points and bounce into Europe," he added.

 "We know that European games capture the imagination of the people here, they love European fixtures and we're looking forward to those ties, but we have business to do on Friday and hopefully we can get three points on the board and then we can look forward to the rest of the season."

 Higgins also confirmed that Scottish winger Paul McMullan is available for selection, but new signing Daniel Mullen may not be cleared in time for this evening's game.


 Elsewhere tonight in the Premier Division, champions Shamrock Rovers, who will be looking to bounce back from their loss at Dundalk, travel to Drogheda United.

 Dundalk make the trip to Bohemians, bottom side UCD host Shelbourne and St Patrick's Athletic host Cork City.

 In the First Division, runaway leaders Galway United make the trip to Cobh Ramblers; Waterford face Longford Town; Athlone Town visit Wexford and bottom side Kerry entertain Treaty United.