Derry City ready for big test against Galway says Pat Hoban

Tribe defeated Candystripes on last visit to the Brandywell

Derry City Pat Hoban celebrates his first goal against Drogheda United at the Brandywell on Friday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin  16-2-2024
Derry City striker Pat Hoban insists the Candystripes are setting their sights on a consistent run of victories (Margaret McLaughlin Photography )

Striker Pat Hoban believes Derry City owe Galway United one ahead of tomorrow night’s clash at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

Yet the 32-year-old knows it’s going to be tough to get a positive result against his hometown club.

“Galway are well structured, they’re a tough side,” he said.

“All of them know their jobs, they have the will to fight and they have a bit about them, but we owe them one at the end of the day.

“They’ve taken four points off us already this season, so we’re going to have to be up for it, be ready for the fight, battle for second balls and sometimes those games aren’t the prettiest, but if you come out with a victory, they’re the good ones and if you win games like that, it helps you win the league.

“But it’s never given to you, that’s the thing, and the league has kind of turned upside down the whole time this season. So we just need to get a consistent run going and I’m sure we can do that.

“I think the whole league is looking at everybody’s results, a bit like last year and waiting for that one team to get that consistency going, and I’m hoping that is going to be us.

“We showed a lot of quality last week against Sligo Rovers, the goals we gave away in that game was obviously shocking. But that’s just the way things go, we could have had four or five goals that night so look we could actually be top of the league right now. But we’re not, so we just have to get back to business and try to get a consistent run of form going.”

Derry City Cameron McJannet with Aodh Dervin of Galway United at the Brandywell on Friday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin  29-3-2024
Galway United beat Derry City 1-0 when the sides met at the Brandywell in March (MARGARET MCLAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHY )

The ex-Dundalk frontman says the Brandywell dressing room will rally around Patrick McEleney as the City skipper is likely to be out for a number of months. It was confirmed he suffered a fracture and dislocation of his elbow during Monday night’s win over Waterford and will require surgery.

“What happened to ‘Fats’ is so unlucky and what can you say? His arm got caught on the turf I think when he was falling,” said Hoban.

“At the end of the day he’s our captain and he’s one of the leaders in our group, so when you see stuff happening like that to any of our team-mates it is gutting. However, we’re there to support him, the whole squad and all the staff will be there to support him, so hopefully he gets back quick enough.

“You could probably see the difference in us as a team when he’s on the pitch with how good he is. He’s technically gifted, he controls games now as well by playing in the deeper role.

“I’ve always said that he’s up there definitely as one of the best players I have ever played with throughout my career.

“Look, he’ll come back stronger and I know he’ll be really, really disappointed, but he’ll be a big loss for us.”

The Galwegian fired home his 10th goal of the season in Monday evening’s 3-0 win over Waterford and he was delighted that the Candystripes played on the front foot.

“What was pleasing against Waterford was that we probably played more forward and quicker and that suits me a lot better, because whenever we do that we also have runners off me and stuff,” he added.

“We also got crosses into the box and we got more bodies into the box and you could see that on Monday night. You could see we worked on that and it paid off for us.

“We have so much quality in our squad that there’s no harm in getting the ball forward quicker. Sometimes mixing it up helps you and you could see on Monday that when we did that we looked really dangerous.”