DEFEAT Cork City at Brandywell and, hopefully, avoid Dundalk in the semi-finals and Derry City could actually be returning to play in the FAI Cup Final in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, November 8th next.
Very easy to state, but forgetting Derry’s disastrous defeat at the hands of Dundalk on Saturday evening, the “Leesiders” will be fully focused on a similar scenario.
With most pundits expecting Longford Town and Bray Wanderers to overcome junior opposition in Sheriff Y.C. and Killester, in their quarter-finals this weekend, Dundalk would also be expected to overcome the challenge of Sligo Rovers.
Derry’s cup pedigree is well known and having lost out in last season’s showpiece, the “Candy Stripes” would be particular keen to be making the trip to Dublin.
However, Peter Hutton’s troops have been inconsistent and much will depend on how his players respond to last weekend’s frustrating defeat.
“It came as no surprise that the players were down after the defeat, but it just goes to show that you can take absolutely nothing for granted in this game,” said Hutton.
“The previous weekend we were on a high following at victory at Inchore when down to 10 men. It was a great weekend, but then the Drogheda game on Saturday proved to be a nightmare.
“We created enough chances to win the match, but to concede two very soft goals at vital times was hard to take.”
Looking forward to the cup tie, Hutton was happy to have a break from the obvious pressures surrounding his league campaign to date.
“We are highly respected as a cup team and we’ve shown that many times in the past, so let’s hope that history will repeat itself on Friday night at the Brandywell.
“It will be nice distraction from the league programme, however, for me it’s all about attempting to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible. We want to get our confidence levels up, believe in ourselves and do everything in our power to over Cork which will be difficult,” he admitted.
Indeed, the continued loss of Philip Lowry (suspended) will not help, nor will the absence of the cup-tied Conor McCormack and Ciaran O’Connor.
“Ryan McBride and Cillian Morrison return to the squad, which is a good thing but, yes, we will be missing a few for the weekend.
“Stephen Dooley and Mark Timlin got through the Drogheda game and, fingers crossed that we don’t pick up any injuries between now and the weekend, added Hutton.
“Friday night is all about getting through to the next round. I don’t care how we manage that, it’s not about a performance it’s all about getting the victory which would give us a great lift.
“We would love to get back to the Aviva Stadium having lost out last year against St. Pat’s. We know we are capable of defeating Cork despite our poor record against them, so maybe this could be our weekend.”