Football/Soccer

Derry City win over Longford Town

Paul McConville

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Derry City Longford Town

DERRY City manager Ruaidhri Higgins was delighted with their comfortable win over Longford Town on Friday night, however, like all good managers, he wants more from his side.

Goals from Jamie McGonigle, James Aktinunde and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe sealed the impressive win, which moved them to just three points behind third-placed Sligo Rovers.

“It’s a good night in relation to the result, the same three goalscorers have scored again; but I would have liked us to have more control of the game,” he admitted.

“I’m getting greedy because I had to remind myself going into the changing room after the game about the amount of mental and physical fatigue from the Bohemians game, so I shouldn’t be flat because we have had a really good win, but because the players are giving so much, I expect so much.

“But listen they have been brilliant, we have got the job done, we have scored three goals and kept a clean sheet, so yeah I won’t complain too much.”

The victory, combined with Sligo Rovers and Bohemians both losing, has Derry right in the mix for a European place, but Higgins isn't getting too carried away.

"Yes we have gained a bit of ground, but look there's eight games to go so we just need to keep plugging away," he said.

"We have an extremely difficult fixture next Friday at Tallaght against Shamrock Rovers, but we'll go there with the intention of getting a positive result and trying to win the game.

"We have taken 17 points from a possible 21 so we can't complain about that but we need to not stand still and keep kicking on."

Higgins was pleased that his side’s attacking intent was rewarded in the early stages when they scored twice through McGonigle and Akintunde in the opening 30 minutes.

“It was good that Jamie was clinical and I fancied him when he went in there, that’s what he does, he runs off the back of people and scores goals with either feet and it was a great finish to give us a bit of control, it meant that they had to come out as well, which meant we looked a threat on the break,” he added.

“But yeah we went attacking and we wanted to excite our supporters. I think we were better in the first half than the second, but again I just have to remind myself about how much we put into the game at Bohs and the energy that the players used up.

“I’m not making excuses for the players but the game on Monday night at Bohs was 100 mph for 90 minutes and it’s bound to take a lot of energy from the players, but listen they have been really professional and I thought Eoin Toal held us together at times and showed his leadership qualities.”

The Limavady man was delighted that his players on Friday had the right attitude from the first minute against the bottom side.

“Having the right mental approach was everything,” he insisted.

“We’ve drummed it into the players for a few days, the importance of treating the game with the respect that it deserved and treating Longford with the respect that they deserve because they are a good side, hard to beat and I thought the early goal settled us down and gave us control of the game.”

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Football/Soccer