MARK TIMLIN is hopeful Derry City can return after the mid-season break with renewed belief and a fresh impetus as they bid to salvage their flailing league campaign.
It’s been a largely forgettable first half of the season for Peter Hutton’s side and the ‘Candy Stripes’ go into the two week summer break hovering perilously above the relegation play-off places after Friday’s 1-1 draw in Drogheda.
But Timlin, who flew off to Portugal for a week’s break on Saturday, is confident the club will quickly climb up the Premier Division table providing they embark on a winning run when they return to action against Cork on June 26th next at Brandywell.
A dubious Drogheda equaliser deprived Derry from signing off the first part of the season with their fourth win of the campaign.
Adam Whelan’s glancing header was adjudged to have crossed the line but Timlin was adamant Derry were once again on the wrong end of a poor decision.
“That’s the way things are going for us at the minute, decisions are just not going our way,” lamented Timlin.
Mentally everyone could be doing with a break. It’s been hard this first part of the season the way things have gone. Hopefully we can come back fresh and ready to go again come Cork in two weeks time.Mark Timlin
“I seen a video of it afterwards and the ball didn’t even touch the line, never mind go over it, so it was sickening.
“Especially as I thought we played pretty well in the first half and felt like we were more of a team. We were on the front foot.
“But then that goal deflated us and the way things have been going that had an impact on the way we reacted and unfortunately we didn’t get the win.
“It would have been nice to sign off the first half of the season with a win.
“We maybe could have come back a bit more positive. Hopefully we can go on an unbeaten run now after the break.
“We have to start from somewhere.”
Buncrana lad, Timlin believes Derry are in a false position given the ability and talent that exists in the squad. And he is confident they canbreak back into the top six before the season’s end.
“You only have to look at Bohs as an example,” he continued.
“At the start of the season we were playing them and thinking we should be beating them.But the difference in the table now says it all (Bohs are in fifth place).
“We aren’t doing ourselves justice at the minute given the talent and the ability in the squad.
“We should be going out and beating the teams we aren’t getting results against at the minute and I think that’s down to a lack of confidence.
“It’s easy to blame it on refereeing decisions and injuries but I think the team hasn’t done enough.
“Hopefully the break will be good for us and we can turn it around when we come back.
“I really think we will turn our league form around,” he added.
“Hopefully we can go on a decent cup run and hopefully we get a good draw.
“Coming back, Cork will be a tough fixture straight away but hopefully we can start picking up wins.
“It’ll not take much to get into the top six from where we are now if we can get a few wins we can start climbing the table.
“I think it’s only a matter of getting that first win because at the minute there’s a lack of belief going into games.”
Seven days in the Algarve will certainly help recharge the batteries and he believes it’s come at the right time.
Physically Timlin is feeling fine and he currently tops Derry’s goalscoring charts with four goals after his spectacular free-kick on Friday night.
That’s something he wants to add to his game this season and he believes Derry must improve in the goalscoring front after the mid-season interval.
“I think it will be good to get away mentally, perhaps not physically because I had the two games suspension and I’m feeling grand,” he said.
“But mentally everyone could be doing with a break. “It’s been hard this first part of the season the way things have gone. Hopefully we can come back fresh and ready to go again come Cork in two weeks time.”
Timlin’s fast becoming Derry’s free-kick specialist and admits he’s become much more confident in his ability when it comes to set-pieces.
“I was never much of a free-kick taker before the start of the season,” explained Timlin.
“I was working on it a bit in pre-season and I scored one against Crusaders. But I’m feeling confident and I step over every one of them now. Beforehand ‘Pizza’ would have to shout to me to take it but now I’m taking them myself.
“I’d be looking to add a lot more to that tally when the league resumes.
“It’s been difficult and we haven’t created too many chances this season.
“Definitely come the second half of the season, I’d love to add to that tally.
“At the start of the season I wanted to add more goals. I did okay with the assists last year but I didn’t get on the scoresheet as much.
“Hopefully come the end of the season I’ll be right up there.”