Derry City v Dundalk, Monday, 7.45pm
Having seen the lights go out in the opening home game, Kenny Shiels are more around the health of his squad ahead of this evening’s clash with the reigning League champions.
A new generator was installed in Maginn Park last week but unfortunately the first team boss has seen his injury list lengthen since the Limerick game. Having lost Ben Doherty and Rory Patterson on the opening night, Conor McDermott then picked up a knock in the USL and Lukas Schubert must save a one match ban following his red card on Friday night.
Ronan Curtis and Aaron McEneff are also likely to miss out as they picked up injuries on Friday night. It was also clear that the defensive effort required by the ten men in the final quarter on Friday may take its tool, as Aaron Barry and Ryan McBride were stretching with every break in play in the closing stages.
The City boss was bemoaning the fact that once again he is facing into a clash with the champions with his side less than full strength. With the Lilywhites the last side to beat City and also responsible for drubbing the Candystripes last season in the Brandywell, it is clear that Shiels would love to have a full panel to pick from.
“We are not looking for excuses, it just makes the logistics a bit more difficult”
Referring to the fact that his side would be understrength, Shiels pointed out that his side must approach the game with confidence
“We believe in ourselves and the players have prepared. We look at Dundalk as the creme de la creme and it is a chance to play against that”
“We are not looking to go top of any league, we are looking to establish a solid position. Your season is your priority and that is the important thing”
“We are always meticulous in our preparation and we will continue to be, but there is a wee bit more to it when you are playing Dundalk, I am sure our supporters feel as well”
Asked about the ex Candystripes now in the Dundalk colours
“It is hard to avoid, but it will be harder for them than us. We just couldn’t afford them. It is like going shopping for a certain car, you’d love to have the money “.
“The most relevant is how we perform, and if we get that right then we have a chance to stay in the game”
City will be looking to arrest an alarming run which has seen Dundalk unbeaten in 14 games against the Candytripes, a run which has mirrored their rise to the top of Irish football.