Derry City manager Kenny Shiels continues to have injury worries ahead of Sunday’s Premier Division encounter against Bray Wanderers at Brandywell Stadium (5.00 p.m.)
Team captain Ryan McBride continues to struggle with a groin injury, Rory Patterson who limped off with a hamstring problem at Drogheda United on Tuesday night is receiving treatment, while Barry McNamee looks set to miss out again through illness.
“I’m concerned because the injuries are starting to pile up and what we’ll have for Sunday might not be as strong as we possibly could be,” explained Shiels.
“We had five teenagers playing in the Drogheda game on Tuesday night and while it’s great experience for them, there comes a time when you need to get your more senior players back in.
“Ryan and Rory are hopefully going to be ready for Sunday but I’m not sure about Barry.”
Despite going into the game as favouites, the Derry manager knows his team is going to come up against a hard working Wanderers side this weekend and is refusing to take anything for granted.
“Bray have gradually improved as the season has progressed and they have a lot of good players,” he added.
“Conor Kenna and Alan McNally are two strong centre-backs while you have Ryan Brennan in the middle of the park and Karl Moore, a tricky little winger and Dylan Connolly on the other side. Andrew Lewis and Robbie Creevy are also attacked minded players and they are all good players.
“I have watched them and there’s no easy games in the league and this one won’t be easy, so we got to make sure that everybody is mentality prepared to go and work as hard as we can to get another result.”
Shiels feels the onus will be on his side to attack Wanderers, something he feels his team can cope with but he wants them to be more clinical in front of goal. In their last two games at the Brandywell, Shiels has been pleased by some of the approach play against Finn Harps and Drogheda United but disappointed they didn’t turn that domination into three points.
“Our best attacking performances were given against Harps and Drogheda at home, games we dominated,” noted Shiels.
“We were very attacked minded, we put out attacking systems; in fact we played with two at the back against Drogheda, which is unheard of and we got domination of the ball all over the pitch.
“The amount of chances we had against Drogheda was as much as you’re likely to see in any game, so we can’t look upon it too negatively.
“We have to be positive and look at the good things which came out of those games and I think that was as good as we have played this season.
“Because it was Drogheda people were thinking ‘we only drew with Drogheda’ but then we went to Drogheda and got a performance of a different kind, in a much tighter game and got a result.
“While we have missed scoring opportunities, the quality of our play will always produce chances. If we can keep sustaining that type of performance goals will start to flow in.”