BRANDYWELL boss, Peter Hutton, heaped praise on his playing staff following Friday night’s defeat of Galway in the opening match in the 2015 season.
And Hutton was also delighted with the contribution of his young striker, Ryan Curran, whose 81st minute winning strike made the journey home from the “west” much more enjoyable.
After what had been a very poor first half display, with the “Candy Stripes” put under sustained pressure following Samuel Ogi’s goal on 20 minutes, Hutton was particuarly delighted with the second half which Derry City dominated.
“We had a few problems to sort out at half-time but, thankfully, the changes we made worked out well, with a few players switching positions,” revealed Hutton.
“We didn’t have a go at the players or anything like that, just basically told the younger lads that they must step up to the mark and learn fast at this level.
“We felt there were a few players who were not getting on the ball as much as we would have liked, so we be brought Barry (McNamee) back into the centre from the left and put Sean (Houston) onto the flank and that switch worked out very well for us,” he declared.
And when Derry began to dictate the pace of the game after the break, it was the home side who weere forced onto the back foot.
“I actually felt we started the game well enough, but then we seemed to lose our way. However, I was delighted with the response in the second half as we looked much more like ourselves, despite our lack of numbers,” added Hutton.
“We were without eight senior players before this game and we were really up against it.
“Our backs had been placed to the wall in terms of selection as we don’t have the numbers in terms of senior personnel, so full credit to the eleven players who started and finished the game.
We had a few problems to sort out at half-time but, thankfully, the changes we made worked out well, with a few players switching positionsPeter Hutton
“They showed that they are a very committed bunch; they worked really heard for each other and the spirit within the group appears to be excellent given that excellent second half effort.”
And with Ryan Curran selected to lead the front line, Patrick McEleney operating in the “No. 10” role, Hutton was equally delighted to see Curran net the winning goal with just nine minutes remaining.
“Ryan worked really hard and put in a great shift,” noted the Derry boss.
“I don’t think it’s a goal that he will remember as he still doesn’t know which part of his body the ball came off before it hit the net,” laughed Hutton.
“However, just as long as the ball hit the net, that’s what mattered. It would not be described as a goal of quality, but we’ll take it and move on.”
With new team captain, Ryan McBride and left-winger, Mark Timlin now expected to return for next Friday night’s game against league champions, Dundalk, Hutton was beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
“Unfortunately, while Stephen Dooley was suspended for the game, he has also sustained a back injury in the gym and he’s expected to be out for a few weeks.
“However, we also expect to see Seanan Clucas’ international clearance will come through this week so that’s another plus.
“The objective had been to open the season with a win, thankfully, we’ve managed to achieve that and now the focus turns to the visit of Dundalk at the Brandywell on Friday.”,