THE difficulty associated with facing the students of UCD at Belfield, twice over a period of four days, has not been lost on Derry City boss, Stephen Kenny.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
And while his “Candy Stripes” may have recorded a 2-0 win in their last visit back in March, the Dubliner was anxious to point out that the students remain a different team at home.
“This season they have defeated Sligo and held St. Pat’s at Belfield and those results must be taken into account,” he insisted.
“Granted, they’ve struggled when on the road, especially on their last visit to the Brandywell when we secured a 7-0 win in May, but they are a better side than that and we can’t take anything for granted,” added Kenny.
The Derry boss will be happy that the Belfield Bowl surface has improved somewhat from that which his side last played on, but he realises that two games against the same opposition in such a short space of time is not ideal.
“The league game is very important and given that we’ve reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup, they are games we certainly would like to win.
“However, I’ve also got to consider the welfare of the playing staff and try to ensure that players receive as much rest as possible as travelling to Dublin twice over the weekend is not easy.
“So we’ll take it one game at a time, prepare well over what will be a hectic period and, hopefully, return with favourable results.”
Kenny was delighted that Derry remain undefeated when travelling to Dublin this season so far, a record he dearly wishes to extend.
“To have remained unbeaten in games in Dublin, says quite a lot about the effort put in my the playing staff and we certainly want to keep that going.
“We’re travelling to win the match to keep the pressure on the teams positioned around us, but we must be at our best if we’re to achieve that,” he insisted.