DERRY CITY: McEneff happy with opening day win

Derry City's Aaron McEneff. Picture by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Derry City's Aaron McEneff. Picture by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Midfielder Aaron McEneff agreed with boss Kenny Shiels’ assessment of their opening day win over Bohemians.

Shiels was delighted with the three points but felt his side didn’t play well and McEneff felt the City boss was spot-on.

“I would definitely agree with him,” confirmed McEneff.

“Three points is the most important thing coming out of the first game, but all the boys know we didn’t provide the style of football that we usually do, in terms of passing it out from the back, in through midfield and working it to the front, but sometimes you get games like that and we used the pace with Nathan (Boyle) up top, (Ronan) Curtis and (Lukas) Schubert whenever he came on and Josh (Daniels).

“We got our goals from Bohs mistakes but you take that all day long.”

The 21-year-old missed from 12 yards against Dutch side RKSV Leonidas and Shelbourne in pre-season, but the minute Bohemians Shane Supple brought down Rory Patterson inside the box, the 21-year-old was adamant he was taking the spot-kick.

It’s a tight ground so the atmosphere should be good; if they can provide a good atmosphere in the Brandywell, then they definitely can provide a good atmosphere at Maginn.

Aaron McEneff

“There was a few boys up giving me stick about missing my last one, but I haven’t missed in the league yet and I’m on them until I miss one, which hopefully that doesn’t happen,” he joked.

“I said the pre-season misses are in the past and they are out of the way, so let’s just look forward to the next one and hopefully stick it in the back of the net again.”

McEneff played his part in City’s empathic opening day 4-1 win at Bohemians, but he’s expecting a lot tougher test against free-scoring Limerick, in their Maginn Park opener next week.

“We are looking forward to playing at Maginn and we can’t wait to get all the fans into the ground,” he added.

“It’s a tight ground so the atmosphere should be good; if they can provide a good atmosphere in the Brandywell, then they definitely can provide a good atmosphere at Maginn.

“We played against Limerick last season and they are very good side, I’m sure they have strengthened this year and they’ll be even better.

“But we’ll prepare for that game and we’ll be ready for next Friday night.”

Goals from McEneff, Nathan Boyle (2) and Lukas Schubert ensured City cruised to victory at Dalymount Park, however it’s Martin Russell’s side who sit top of the league after the opening night, thanks to their 5-1 success over Sligo Rovers.

Because of that win, McEneff is expecting a good exciting clash in Buncrana next week.

“Kenny (Shiels) has been telling us in pre-season about how good Limerick have been,” he confirmed.

“Even in the Brandywell last year against them, they got the ball down and played, but we like to do that as well, so we’ll just worry about ourselves.

“Hopefully we can go out and get the three points again, but we know it’s going to be tough.”

After Patterson was substituted Candy Stripe supporters would have been forgiven to worry about where the next goal was going to come from, but McEneff felt everyone but in particular substitute Boyle played the part in their win at Dalymount.

“Rory is a big asset and hopefully he’ll be alright, but Nathan came in and he did a great job,” he said.

“He got himself two goals and there as a lot of pace going forward and one thing Kenny did say, is that he wanted more forward passes quicker this year and I think when we did get on the ball we provided that and if we could bring more control into our play like last year, then I think we’ll be alright.”

The Cornshell man also concedes that this campaign in particular Shiels’ want his players to be switched on ready and waiting for a quickly taken free-kick or quick long ball down field.

In fact it worked well for two of City’s goals at Dalymount when Nicky Low’s quick free-kick resulted in Patterson being brought down, while Gerard Doherty’s long ball down field set-up Boyle for City’s third goal.

“For the penalty Nicky took a quick one and Rory has got in; then Gerard obviously did it for Nathan’s second goal,” he said.

“Look if we can keep doing that and catch teams out with quick set-pieces then it’s brilliant.”