Derry City boss, Declan Devine, cut a very satisfied manager following Friday night’s impressive second half showing at Oriel Park.
However, while he conceded that Dundalk had bossed the ball and appeared to be the more dangerous side during the early stages of the game, he put that down to his players taking time to get used to the artificial surface at the Co. Louth venue.
“I know I said that I was looking forward to playing on a good surface, given the condition of other pitches we’ve played on over recent weeks, but it does take time to get used to the 3G surface,” he insisted.
“But I would admit that Dundalk were dangerous, particularly on their left flank, but we always knew that they would not be easy as their league position suggests,” he added.
“Stephen (Kenny) has assembled a decent side this season and no one can take them for granted Their results this season says quite a lot about their quality and we had to be at ourselves and give a solid second half showing in order to win.”
However, Devine was delighted with his side’s performance in the second half.
“We changed our shape to a 4-4-2 formation and that proved to be beneficial. It helped pull us back into the game as Dundalk had caused us a few problems.
“But for me the most positive thing to have come from the win was the players’ ability to dig themselves back into the game. They showed great character having fallen a goal in arrears and it was always going to be very interesting to see how they would react to that.
“After all, we fell a goal behind against Sligo Rovers at the Brandywell in our only defeat of the season so far and while we did manage to create clear-cut scoring chances, we failed to get back on level terms before the end,” he recalled.
“However, against Dundalk we started the second half so well and after both Barry McNamee and Barry Molloy had tested their keeper with efforts, we began to look more like ourselves,” continued the Brandywell boss.
“It was a sensational second half performance. It was high tempo all the way; we passed the ball really well and continued to create scoring chances with Dundalk forced onto the back foot.
“So I really can’t praise the players highly enough for the response they showed after the break. Dundalk couldn’t cope with us. The belief was there and the character was there and I felt we thoroughly deserved our victory in the end.