Football/Soccer

Derry City 'up for the occasion' against Dundalk insists Kenny Shiels

Seamus Crudden

DERRY City manager Kenny Shiels has left no stone unturned ahead of tonight’s clash with league leaders Dundalk.

Shiels knows his side are going to have tough evening at the champions and because of that his squad have trained on various 3G surfaces in the city ahead of tonight’s clash at Oriel Park.

“It goes without saying it’s a tough game but we are up for the occasion,” said Shiels.

“We have been training on synthetic pitches all week but everything else has been normal.

“How we are going to play has been described to the players in a way which has been positive and in a way that hopefully gives us the best opportunity to win the game.”

Shiels, who was full of praise of Stephen Kenny’s side who are sitting four points clear of Cork City at the top of the table, believes if his players play to their full potential they can secure what would be three massive points in their quest to finish in third spot.

At the minute the Candystripes sit just two points clear of Shamrock Rovers, who they meet in the league at the Brandywell next Tuesday evening.

“Fingers crossed, if we play to our full potential we win the game, that’s my view,” said Shiels. “We have looked at all departments in their team and we have addressed it in our talk, so the boys know what to expect.”

After Rovers next Tuesday night, Derry travel to Dundalk again the following Sunday for their FAI Cup semi-final showdown, so their next three games could define their season, but Shiels is only focusing on this evening’s league encounter against the champions.

“I think it would be very foolish of me to think about three games, I have to think about one game,” he said.

“The one game is at Dundalk and that’s in my head and I’m not even considering thinking about the rest.

“The two games after that are totally different games, with different preparation, different mindsets and all of those things put together means I’m only focusing on the league game at Dundalk tonight.

I am very motivated in my head to pay attention to that game.”

At the other end of the table things are starting to hot up as bottom side Longford Town, fresh from their win over fellow strugglers Finn Harps, travel to Bohemians (7.45pm) hoping they can avoid the drop.

Wexford Youths, who are currently six points clear of Longford, entertain in-form Bray Wanderers (8pm), while Shamrock Rovers face Galway United at Tallaght Stadium (8pm).

Tomorrow night title chasing Cork travel to Sligo Rovers (7.45pm). In the First Division tonight, champions Limerick visit Shelbourne at Tolka Park, Drogheda United make the trip to Cabinteely and Athlone Town face UCD. All games kick off at 7.45pm.

Tomorrow evening in the First Division, Cobh Ramblers take on Roddy Collins’ Waterford United at St Colman’s Park (7.15pm).

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Football/Soccer