“Candy Stripes” Remain Under the Curse of the “Left Back!”

EA SPORTS Cup Quarter-Final, Dalymount Park, Dublin 1/7/2013 Bohemians vs Derry City Michael Duffy of Derry City celebrates scoring a goal Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Cathal Noonan
EA SPORTS Cup Quarter-Final, Dalymount Park, Dublin 1/7/2013 Bohemians vs Derry City Michael Duffy of Derry City celebrates scoring a goal Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Cathal Noonan
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DERRY City appear to be cursed as they attempt to solve their problematic left-back position.

With current full-backs Dermot McCaffrey and Thomas Crawley ruled out long term with hamstring and groin problems respectively, Declan Devine opted to draft in local lad, Dean Jarvis, to compete for the vacant position last weekend.

However, during a training session on Wednesday, the 21-year-old Brandywell man went over on his ankle and even if his interntaional clearance does arrive today, the player is considered extremely doubtful to face Dundalk tonight.

While Barry McNamee has been faciliating in that position over recent weeks, it’s become clear that the Ramelton man has struggled in the role.

That said, he’s the first to admit that he’s prepared to play anywhere for the benefit of the team.

And Devine has also admitted that moving McNamee into the back four can force a change in formation, the player’s ability to pass the ball in a vital area can be lost.

But McNamee did really well against Bohemians in last Monday night’s League Cup victory when returning to midfield with Sean Houston slotting in at left-back.

However, the Letterkenny man lasted just 12 minutes before being forced off with a groin injury and Shane McEleney switched from right-back to left-back with Kevin Deery dropping into the back four from midfield.

“Barry (McNamee) is a midfield player, he’s not a left-back, but for the benefit of the team he has continued to a job for us in that role.

“It’s probably unfair on him as we lose out on his quality in the midfield area. However, I think players must be versatile if we are to push on and Barry was happy to fill in on behalf of the team,” declared Devine.

Looking forward to this evening’s game, Houston and Ruaidhri Higgins (ankle) are both considered doubtful starters but Rory Patterson and Simon Madden are expected to return with last Monday night’s hero at Dalymount, teenager Michael Duffy, also battling for a first team spot.

“Michael has been outstanding in three of the last four matches. He seems to be taking everything in his stride and having now netted three goals, he continues to make significant progress.

“The young players in the team have all impressed but we’ve got to consider the opposition, draw up a game plan and select the players who we believe, are better equipped to cope with the challenge,”concluded Devine.

Dundalk’s experienced midfielder, Stephen O’Donnell, has been forced to sit out tonight’s game due to a one match suspension but Kenny has added three new faces to his panel on Monday last.