Football/Soccer

Derry can't take UCD lightly insists manager Higgins

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins says they can't afford to be complacent against the Premier Division's bottom club when the league leaders take on UCD on Friday night Picture: Margaret McLaughlin

Airtricity League Premier Division: UCD v Derry City (tonight, 7.45pm)

DERRY City manager Ruaidhri Higgins will be making sure his players are fully focused for tonight's encounter at bottom side UCD.

The Brandywell men go into this evening's game sitting top of the table and remain beaten, while the Students are still looking for their first victory of the campaign, but Higgins isn't taking anything for granted.

"I think it will highlight the professionalism of your players,” the City boss said.

“If they can go and put on a good display it means they can motivate themselves rather than needing the crowd to motivate them.

"I think it's a real test of mentality and professionalism and I hope that we see real positive signs of that on Friday.

“If we go down there with any arrogance or any snobbery they will beat us.

“We shouldn’t be going anywhere like that because we have done nothing as a team, so we need to be professional and conduct ourselves in the right way and generate our own atmosphere and put in a good professional performance, that’s what I’m hoping for."

The Candystripes gaffer is expecting a tough test against Andrew Myler's youthful side.

“It really annoys me when people think that winning games of football is easy," he added.

“As I’ve said many a time in this league, you have to earn every single win that you get.

"In the first game of the season, UCD were away to Shamrock Rovers and they could have been two- or three-nil up before Rovers scored, and that’s the truth.

"They had the two or three best chances before Rovers scored and if they go 1-0 in front it’s a different game.

“Performance-wise they have got good talent and they have got two of the best young players for me in the country in Liam Kerrigan and Colm Whelan. That’s two of many, but they are both in the Republic of Ireland U21 set-up and they are both real talents.

“They will be well up for it, and well drilled and they have really good individual players. The players have been brilliant but we need to maintain and improve our standards and keep doing everything in our power to keep putting points on the board.”

Derry will be without midfield duo Ciaron Harkin and Evan McLaughlin, but winger Mickey Duffy is getting closer to being in the squad, as he recovers from a hamstring problem, which has kept him out of the opening four games.

Meanwhile elsewhere tonight in the Premier Division the game of the night takes place at Tallaght as champions Shamrock Rovers, aiming to bounce back from last Friday night's loss at St Patrick's Athletic, host old rivals Bohemians.

Drogheda United take on Sligo Rovers at Head in the Game Park and Dundalk travel to Shelbourne.

In the First Division, the top two face each other at Regional Sports Centre as leaders Waterford host second placed Wexford. Galway United face Bray Wanderers, Cork City come up against Cobh Ramblers and Treaty United host Longford Town.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Football/Soccer