RORY Patterson hates the very sight of Davy McDaid, but the Strabane man has the utmost respect for Derry City’s leading hitman this season.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
Annoyed at having been suspended for tonight’s interesting FAI Cup Final rehearsal against St. Pat’s at the Brandywell (7.45 p.m.), Patterson heaped praise on his busy front-line colleague who has netted 16 goals this season having played on the right, left and, of course, as the central City striker throughout the current campaign.
In fact, McDaid was always concerned that he wouldn’t be given a chance to make an impression this season but there’s no doubt, that Derry’s well documented injury crisis has proved a window of opportunity for the man from the Meadows.
And commenting on McDaid’s rise to prominence, Patterson refused to hold back: “I hate the sight of him, especially in training when we’re on opposite sides in practise matches,” admitted the N. Ireland senior international.
“He just doesn’t stop, he refuses to go away and he can be an absolute pest, particularly if your are playing against him,” he added.
At the start of the season, Patterson was quick to realise that McDaid was anxious to establish himself in the Derry City first team.
“Having played against him in practise matches, I told him at the start of the season that he was a pest but that was a good thing, especially if such comments were coming from players who would be playing against him.
“I think he has taken full advantage of our terrible injury situation and having netted 16 goals so far, that’s a decent return from a player who has been playing out of position on quite a few occasions this season.
“He’s scored quite a few vital goals for us this season when playing as a lone striker which can be very difficult at times,” claimed the striker.
“But Davy always welcomes the challenge and he continues to battle his way through games. He’s always lively and busy and he can certainly irritate defenders during matches,” noted Patterson.
McDaid, who could lead the line at the Brandywell tonight as Mark Farren is struggling with a thigh strain, was actually rested for last Saturday night’s game against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght to give Patterson that vital game time. But before that match, the diminutive hitman had netted a total of nine goals in the previous 10 games!
“He’s netted a decent total of 16 goals so far this season and, hopefully, we will had a few more before the season is over.”
Despite his injury problems this season, Patterson is happy at the Brandywell and, of course, keen to play his part in the FAI Cup final on Sunday fortnight.
“Obviously, it’s a game I want to be involved in having got back from a hamstring injury. I managed to get 70 minutes against Shelbourne in what was a scrappy game, but I got through it. And it was great to get further game time against Rovers last Saturday without any difficulty as I continued to blow the cobwebs away.
“So I’m getting there. I’m in the gym on a daily basis and train with the lads, so I feel the hamstring injury is now behind me and, fingers crossed, I’ll be part of the panel that is selected for the cup final.”
As a player who has been very fortunate with injuries, the 2012 season has served as a wake-up call for the Strabane native.
“I arrived at Derry having played in one season and then went straight into another one without any break. I’ve never been injured before, but I now realise that you can’t do that as the body needs rest. I also tried to come back much too early and having broke down, that also frustrated me but now, thankfully, I feel I’m getting stronger every week but I also realise I have to take care of myself and not take any risks,” concluded the 28 year old.