Derry boss Devine - ‘I have broad shoulders’

Credit �INPHO/Aykut Akici
Credit �INPHO/Aykut Akici

BRANDYWELL boss, Declan Devine, insists that his current focus is on minimising the errors which have cost Derry City dearly over recent weeks.

And Devine also claimed that despite the boos and, indeed, the vociferous comments, which followed the final whistle after last Friday night’s Premier Division defeat, he was confident he would lead his side back to winning ways.

Addressing those who verbally abused him after what was a shocking 2-0 home defeat - which followed a 3-1 loss in the semi-final of the EA Sports Cup the previous week, also against Drogheda - Devine said he understood the feelings of supporters.

“Obviously I was fully aware of what came with the Derry City job before I agreed to accept it, so the verbals didn’t come as a surprise to me,” said Devine.

“But I would be the first to agree that supporters are entitled to their views having paid for their tickets to watch Derry City play.

“And I can understand how they feel having stood on the terraces myself watching games.

“I have broad shoulders and I am prepared to face up to any justified criticism which comes my way.

“However, I can also inform those supporters who are concerned, that no one is working harder to put matters right than Paul Hegarty and myself.

“But I took the job, I know what comes with it and while I can understand their feelings, I have great belief in the job that I am doing.

“I believe totally in the identification and development of young players and I’m still convinced that our work on the training ground, will help eradicate the mistakes we have been making on match nights.”

He was quick to point out that Derry City “did not become a bad side overnight” and that his hopes are now to guarantee a place in Europe next season with a few victories and see where that takes the club.

“We haven’t given up our hope of winning the Premier Division title. Granted, the defeat by Drogheda has certainly not helped us in that regard, but we’ve not given up.

“Qualification for the Europa League was a target at the start of the season and that has not changed. What we need is to get on a winning run and see where that takes us, as I’m convinced there will be further twists and turns as the season draws to an end,” claimed Devine.

And with two matches against leaders, St. Pat’s on the horizon plus another match against Dundalk, Derry’s future hopes could be decided sooner rather than later.

“Obviously, we realise that we can’t afford to fall further behind. But we face games we are capable of winning even if those teams are above us in the race for the title.

“You can be assured that Sligo, who are just one point ahead of us, have not give up their hopes of retaining the title, so why should we?” he concluded.