DERRY City’s disappointing defeat at Turner’s Cross on Friday night, plus the difficult draw in the FAI Cup quarter-final against Sligo, has left quite a few fans of the “Candy Stripes” feeling a litle down-hearted.
However, interesting suggesting that Derry had nothing left to play forthis season is a little premature .
The FAI Cup draw may well have been unkind with City having to travel to the Sligo Showgrounds but, if the truth be told, Derry are more than capable of defeating Sligo despite the poor record against the “Bit O’Red.”
In fact, I would expect the Derry players to fight tooth and nail for their club as they attempt to get back into the magnificent surroundings of the Aviva Stadium to defend the trophy they won against all the odds last season.
Interestingly, the Brandywell club was in a similar position as the 2012 campaign began to draw to a close.
The powers that be at the Brandywell managed to turn those difficulties around thanks to that incredible victory over St. Pat’s in the final, so who’s to say that effort cannot be repeated this season.
Having said that, Derry’s recent performances will need to be greatly improved and the squad must regain a sense of belief in the ability which clearly exists within the club.
The team is clearly struggling on the playing front and I don’t think it takes a footballing genius to see that.
But the season is far from over and from a local point of view, the single, most important objective for any club affiliated to the Football Association of Ireland is regular qualification for European football and Derry City is not an exception in that regard.
Indeed, anyone involved in the financial side of the club’s business will tell you that the money earned from competing in Europe actually plays an integral role in keeping the club afloat.
And excepting Shamrock Rovers, all those competing for places in Europe actually depend on that finance gained to help balance their budgets.
Therefore, every game between now and the end of the 2013 season will be considered a cup final, with victories so vital in helping to maintain the budget for the 2014 season.
Meanwhile, tonight’s opponents at the Brandywell remain favourites to claim the 2013 Airtricity League Premier Division title - although Dundalk may well have something to say about that!
But everyone realises that it may well take something special to derail the challenge of St. Patrick’s Athletic as they attempt to get their name on the famous old trophy.
But every time a player crosses the white line on a match night, they are given a chance to impress or, indeed, redeem themselves following a run of poor form.
So with that in mind, let’s not get carried away with negativity and gloom and doom at this sage, and hope that Derry City’s redemption takes place tonight tonight at the Brandywell in front of a good crowd.