“Derry City will challenge Rovers” - Pat Fenlon

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PAT Fenlon has always held the view that newly promoted Derry City would give Shamrock Rovers a run for their money this season and after Friday night’s victory over Bohemians, the Dubliner has no reason to change his mind.

“I said at the start of the season that I felt Derry would be up there this year and I still think that now,” said the Bohs. boss.

“I think they will give Rovers a run for their money and, perhaps, Stephen (Kenny) might want to add one or two players in July. Strength in depth is probably Stephen’s main concern and I think that if he can add another few players, Derry would have a great opportunity to go on and win the league,” claimed Fenlon.

“Derry have a pattern of play and the fact that quite a few of their players played together last season is significant. They have a good system with two good players in the middle of the park who pass the ball quite well.

“And their two wide men are also decent. In Eamon Zayed, they have a player who will always score goals, so I’m not surprised they are up there challenging.”

Looking back on Friday’s game, Fenlon was obviously disappointed but he felt Derry, while they deserved to win the game, were flattered by the 3-0 score line.

“Obviously I am very disappointed with the result, but I’m not disappointed with the way my team performed. I thought we played well in the first half and when we fell 2-0 in arrears at half-time I was scratching my head as I didn’t think we deserved to be 2-0 down..

“That said, I think we only created one decent chance when Keith Buckley crossed for Steven Hurley just before the second goal, but Gerard Doherty made a decent save.

“But that’s the problem we have at the moment, as we’re not set-up to score a lot of goals. We had plenty of possession and probably could have done better, but we have to remain positive given that we did play some decent passages of football. The negatives are that we didn’t defend well as a team and I felt we conceded some very soft goals.”

He felt Derry were flattered by the margin of the victory. “It’s disappointing because you normally come away after losing 3-0 and feel you’ve deserved to be beaten, but not in this game.

“I didn’t think we deserved to lose by three but it’s a learning experience for some of our younger players because the Brandywell is always a tough place to come and get a result.”

“Sometimes when this happens, you feel you didn’t get the rub of the green and I hope our luck starts to change sooner rather than later. Some of the decisions maybe didn’t go our way, but you have to get on with it but I can’t fault the players.

“We conceded three soft goals. We should have cleared our lines for the first one, Barry [Murphy] knows that he shouldn’t have beaten for the second and for the third we had three of our own players inside the box with one Derry player, but the Derry player still manages to score. That’s something we have to work on,” he conceded.