DERRY CITY: Ryan McBride on verge of a timely return

RYAN RETURNS . .  Derry City skipper, Ryan McBride is poised for a timely return.
RYAN RETURNS . . Derry City skipper, Ryan McBride is poised for a timely return.

DERRY CITY skipper, Ryan McBride is on the verge of a timely return to action following SEVEN frustrating weeks on the sidelines and he’s hoping his presence can provide the necessary boost to revive the club’s season.

Sunday’s eagerly anticipated FAI Cup semi-final clash with reigning champions Dundalk at Oriel Park may have come a week too soon for the robust defender who has missed the last eight games due to a groin injury.

It’s six or seven weeks since I last played so it’s a long time and it’s been frustrating to watch from the sidelines.

Ryan McBride

The Brandywell native has set himself a more realistic target of next Saturday’s league clash with Longford Town at the City Calling Stadium as he builds up his match fitness.

In the meantime McBride is prepared to do all he can off the pitch to roar his teammates on to an end of season showpiece at the Aviva Stadium and he believes Derry will be fired up for Sunday’s meeting against a Dundalk side which could be feeling the effects of their huge Europa League effort.

“I’ve been training the last two weeks and everything feels okay,” he confirmed. “But Sunday might just come too early for me. I’m probably looking at the Longford game to be realistic. You can do all the training you want but it’s the match fitness you need for big games like Sunday.

“It’s a massive game for us,” he added. “It’s the semi-final of the cup and it’s going to be a hard game. From my point of view, I’d love to play but realistically I might not be fit enough to play.

“It’s six or seven weeks since I last played so it’s a long time and it’s been frustrating to watch from the sidelines.

“Dundalk are on a different level in my view. But I think they might be tired on Sunday and we’ll be fired up and ready to go, so hopefully we go and do a job.

“Anything can happen in the cup. All the boys will give it their all in the hope of reaching the Aviva Stadium.

“With Dundalk playing on Thursday night and then again on Sunday, we should be a bit fresher.”