Finn Harps v Derry City – Fri 26th July – KO 8.00pm – Finn Park
SSE Airtricity League
Live on eirSport, Radio Foyle and Drive 105
City head to Finn Park on Friday night hoping to keep the pressure on 3rd placed Bohemians.
The North West derby is usually a hard fought battle and with Harps scrapping for points at the foot of the table, this is likely to be no exception.
City dispatched Sligo Rovers 3-0 last weekend, breaking a run of three draws and setting themselves up for the trip to Donegal.
Whilst the action at Brandywell was late getting started due to floodlight drama, Harps were in Waterford taking on the Blues. A late goal from ex-City man, Mikey Place gave Harps all three points.
Devine confirmed that there are no injuries ahead of tomorrow night and everyone is available.
“Its is a game we will have to be at our best.”
“We have to go with confidence because we are playing well, but we have to go with respect as the history of these fixtures is that nine times out of ten they are games where incidents throw up. We have made sure we do our side of things and do the things we are good at.”
“If we don’t play to the level we play 95% of our games at, we will be in difficulty. Harps had a brilliant result in Waterford and we have to make sure we are at the top of our game.”
“It is a derby and both sets of supporters will be demanding that they get effort and commitment. Both sets of teams give that anyway and our players have been giving us real quality over the last few months.”
Pressed on his targets for the remainder of the season, Devine emphasised that the the target for now is Ballybofey on Friday and then the visit of Waterford on Monday.
“You would be a fool if you didn’t want to qualify for Europe, but ultimately we want to win the game, we want to win on Monday, we want to get through against Wexford”
“Grant has been on the radar for a couple of weeks. He is a player we know well and has played over 250/260 games at the top level in Scotland. He is a player we feel will enhance the group.”
“He is a midfield player with tremendous ability and an appetite to hunt the ball back for you.”
Malone Puts Pen to Paper
Devine also confirmed that Jack Malone, one of the goalscorers from Friday, has signed a two year deal.
“Jack is very much a player in our mind, he can come on and grab a game by the scruff of its neck.”
“He has signed for two years and he is a player I have known since a young boy. He has not only demonstrated in the first team, but in the 19s and the reserve team that he has stood out.”
“It is a pathway, Oran McLaughlin is flying and Ronan McKinley was doing very well until he picked up an injury”
Looking to Harps
The Candystripes welcomed back long term absentee Michael McCrudden last week as he came off the bench in the closing stages of the victory. McCrudden will come into the reckoning for a start in the derby.
Conor Davis made his first start last week and will battle with McCrudden and McCauley for the advanced role in the City midfield.
Declan Devine will likely opt for few changes across a side which has lost just once in ten league games, a 1-0 reverse away to St Pats in late May.
Junior has been City’s goal scoring hero in recent weeks with seven goals in seven games and City fans will be hoping that the winger can continue his form in Finn Park.
The player was runner up in the June Player of the Month award and with his goalscoring run continuing, he is sure to feature again in the voting this month.
City’s encounters against Harps this year have seen plenty of goals with five shared in the fixture in Ballybofey before City beat Horgan’s men twice in 4 days in the League and EA Sports Cup in late May.
While City were dispatching Sligo last week, Harps picked up their first away victory with a win away to Waterford.
Neil Doyle will be charge for this one, as he was earlier in the season when he sent off Colm Deasy for a heavy challenge on ex-Harps man Ciaran Coll.
Harkin’s Shop on Lecky Rd have a limited amount of tickets on sale for the match and tickets will be on sale for City fans outside the away section of Finn Park on the night.
You can follow the match via our social media presence.
eirSport will be showing the match live for those who have access.