Football/Soccer

Dundalk will provide toughest test yet says Derry midfielder Thomson

Derry City's Joe Thomson 
Picture: Margaret McLaughlin 
SEAMUS CRUDDEN

SSE Airtricity Premier Division: Derry City v Dundalk (tonight, 7.45pm)

DERRY City's Joe Thomson is expecting another tough test against Dundalk, tonight.

The Scottish midfielder felt their opening game of the season at Oriel Park way back in February, which ended in an exciting 2-2 draw, was the Candystripes' toughest game of the campaign so far.

"We're under no illusions and I personally feel that Dundalk gave us probably our hardest game of the season so far," he said

"That match on the first night of the season was a tough game and having just played (Shamrock) Rovers it doesn't get any easier for us.

"Dundalk are a very good team and I'm sure they'll come with a game plan to make it hard for ourselves.

"But we have had a good week's training under out belt and we have a game plan, so now it's up to us to take it from there."

Ruaidhri Higgins'S men have only won twice in their last seven league outings, but Thomson believes they have been unlucky, particularly at the champions last week.

"Performance wise our confidence levels haven't dropped, but we just need to start taking our chances and I think we'll be fine," he added.

"We are creating chances and even against Rovers if we had come and scored in the first 20 minutes it could have been a totally different game.

"But look we didn't and they ended up nicking one with 10 minutes or so to go, but we have to dust ourselves down and go again against Dundalk."

The talented midfielder feels if Derry can take the lead in matches, it will benefit them as opposition will have to come out and left space at the back.

"If we can take the lead against Dundalk then that could change things. One goal can also give you that confidence," he explained.

"Plus if you take the lead in games, teams come out and have to go for it themselves and that means we'll have a bit more space, so hopefully that will be the case on Friday night."

City centre-back Cameron McJannet and midfielder Brandon Kavanagh remain doubtful with a hamstring and dead leg problems respectively, but Patrick McEleney, who also has a hamstring injury, isn't expected to return until after next month's mid-season break.

Elsewhere tonight in the Premier Division, Sligo Rovers travel to Bohemians and there's a Dublin derby at Richmond Park as St Patrick's Athletic entertain Shelbourne.

In the First Division, leaders Cork City host Wexford and title chasing Galway United also have home advantage over bottom side Athlone Town and Treaty United take on Cobh Ramblers, while tomorrow night Longford Town face Waterford at Bishopsgate.

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Football/Soccer