Derry City: Collins expects dog fight in Tallaght

Derry City manager Roddy Collins welcomes new signing John Paul McGovern to The Brandywell. INLS1014-101KM

Derry City manager Roddy Collins welcomes new signing John Paul McGovern to The Brandywell. INLS1014-101KM

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RODDY Collins expects a bitter ‘dog fight’ in Tallaght Stadium as Derry City open the new season against Shamrock Rovers on Sunday evening. (5.25 p.m.)

And with the game to be screened live on RTE 2 television, the new Brandywell boss, expects the game to suffer due to the fear of losing from both sets of players.

He agreed that there would be pressure on both sides and during the opening 20 minutes he expected both sets of players to test each other’s character.

“I expect an absolute dog fight,” claimed Collins. “But I intend to set the team up to place them under pressure. To do that, we must work very hard, especially when they are in possession of the ball,” added the Dubliner.

“However, after 20 minutes to half an hour I expect the game to settle down and at that stage I would expect things to happen.”

He said questions will be asked of both sets of players on how they react should they fall behind or, indeed, move into the driving seat by netting the opening strike.

“It’s the opening game of the season and no-one likes to lose, especially if you are playing at home. With that in mind, I really don’t envisage either team getting the ball down and managing to string 10 passes together due the pressure

“But it will be a tough game for us and, hopefully, we can get something out of it.

“I think it will be frantic but we will be attempting to squeeze the life out of the game. I do not fear them and we’ve no problem travelling down there to perform on what will be a good surface,” maintained the Dubliner.

Refusing to identify his squad, he did admit that Barry McNamee was a major doubt having strained a knee ligament while his 10th new signing, Jon-Paul McGovern, was also not expected to play having arrived in Derry from Glasgow yesterday.

“I have the starting XI in my head after watching Rovers play.I’m fully aware of their playing staff as I know quite a few of those players, but I can’t wait to get started,” he concluded.