Football/Soccer

Derry City boss Declan Devine hoping skipper Barry McNamee can lead the way in Cork

Derry City's Barry McNamee tussles for possession with Keith Buckley of Bohemians at the Brandywell on Monday April 29 2019. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus Crudden

Derry City manager Declan Devine is hoping Barry McNamee can be his lucky charm heading into tonight’s clash at Cork City.

The last time the Candy Stripes won at Turner’s Cross way back in 2013, in the League Cup, McNamee and Dean Jarvis scored and Devine hopes his skipper can do something similar this evening.

“I’m hoping that’s a good omen, as I think it’s about time we try to put our record in Cork right, but we are under no illusions it’s going to be very difficult,” he stated.

“Going to Turner’s Cross is very difficult but at the same time our away form has been fantastic, we have gone to very difficult venues all year and done quite well. We have been to Oriel (Park), Tallaght, Cork and St Pat’s and have held our own and came away with points here and there.

“So, Cork is just another game, where we have to make sure that we take care of ourselves and can’t control what the opposition do, so we have to make sure that we are right and are mentally right.”

This will be Derry’s first game after the mid-season break and Devine hopes they can continue their impressive form on the road.

However the next step for his young side would be to finally secure a big win away from home and Devine believes his squad are more than capable of doing that.

“Look to be 2-0 down at Oriel Park, you could easily chuck it. To be 2-0 down at Tallaght, you could chuck it, but there’s character and fight and whatever the game throws up at our boys they always tend to take it on the chin,” he explained.

“There’s going to be highs and lows over the next 18/20 weeks. There’s going to dips and there’s going to be real high moments, so we are just looking to be at our highest possible level.

“For us to get anything from anybody in this league and I’ll continue to say that we have to be at our best and if we are at our best then we are more than a match for anyone.”

City, who made the long trip to Munster yesterday, will be without Darren Cole (knee) and Patrick McClean (thigh), but the only plus side Michael McCrudden is making good progress from his metatarsal injury.

“Michael trained with the team the last couple of days, he’s done a few things, but we have had to dip him in and out, but he’s coming along nicely,” he confirmed. “But the one thing that we can’t do is rush him, we have to make sure that when he’s back, that he’s back for good.

“Darren has been a loss to us, because he has been sensational all year, he’s a fantastic player, but he’ll hopefully be back soon. Patrick has an ongoing problem, so we are down a lot of bodies when you take in the players who have also left the club, but that’s fine, we have always said the squad has to come together and we’ll get on with it.”

Elsewhere tonight, the match of the night takes place at Tallaght Stadium, with second placed Shamrock Rovers host leaders Dundalk, in front of the eir Sport cameras.

Bohemians travel to Waterford and UCD entertain St Patrick’s Athletic.

In the First Division, leaders Shelbourne travel to Limerick, Drogheda United take on Bray Wanderers, Wexford visit Cabinteely and Athlone make the trip to Galway United, while tomorrow night title second placed Longford Town host Cobh Ramblers.

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