DERRY City midfield general, Barry Molloy, will not be lulled into a false sense of security when the “Candy Stripes” return to the Carlisle Grounds in Bray this evening. (Kick-off: 7.45 p.m.)
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
While acknowledging the fact that his side won following their two visits last season, Molloy has always found the “wide open venue” very difficult.
“I think every team in the league finds it difficult when facing Bray at the Carlisle Grounds,” he said.
“It’s wide open, there always seems to be a wind blowing across the pitch and that doesn’t make it any easier. But we will view the trip as another opportunity to collect three valuable points and consolidate our winning start to the season,” added Molloy.
He agreed that his side’s performance levels had struggled during the early stages of the season, but for the midfielder, the priority at this stage was about results given the number of new players now involved in the Derry first team.
“We didn’t perform to our best against Bohemians but I felt we did enough to win the match.
“And we certainly took our time to get going against Linfield at Windsor Park on Monday night, but we got a favourable result. We’ll take confidence from David McDaid’s goal and now focus on our trip to Bray,” insisted Molloy.
Having played at the Carlisle Grounds on so many occasions, the 28-year-old’s performance can prove pivotal and while Derry have lost quite a few players, Bray have also lost many of last season’s young stars who have opted to move on.
“We’re aware of what to expect and I think every team finds it difficult to perform in the Carlisle Grounds. In fact, any team which manages to take three points will view that as a job very well done,” claimed the player.
Rory Returns to
On the team front Rory Patterson, deemed ineligible against Linfield, returns to lead the Derry attack but both Kevin Deery and new signing, Brian McGroary remain in the treatment room.
However, versatile winger, Owen Morrison, has made progress and will be included in the travelling party.
Molloy welcomed the return of the club’s main striker. “Rory has been brilliant for us since his arrival and while it was difficult without him at Linfield, I’m delighted he’s back in the squad for the Bray match.
“It’s only natural that new players require time to bed into the squad and get used to their new team-mates, so we’ve done well given that we’ve beaten Bohemians and held Linfield at Windsor Park.
“For me, defeating Bohemians was a major result for us as I seem to remember losing the opening matches for the past two or three years. The fact that we didn’t perform to our best makes the win all the more significant as far as I’m concerned,” continued Molloy.
“I think it’s important that we try and get on a good run during the early stages of the season and, hopefully, build up as many points as possible.
“We’re not due to play the likes of Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers or St. Pat’s just yet, so getting points on the board could prove crucial.
“And I also believe that things are going better than I expected. During the pre-season campaign I really didn’t know what type of squad we would have but Declan Devine and Paul Hegarty did well to replace those players that have left.
“Getting Rory (Patterson) was, in my opinion, a superb signing for us and to get Stewart (Greacen) back really put the icing on the cake for me.
“Stewart was a fantastic player for us last season. He’s very determined, works hard and wants to do well here and it’s great to have him back. He has been a great signing,” concluded Molloy.