Derry City manager, Declan Devine, believes his side have a good opportunity to finish the season on a high note after progressing to the semi-finals of the FAI Ford Cup on Friday.
Derry beat Division One side Mervue United 7-1 and will now face either Dundalk, Shelbourne or the winners of the replay between St. Patrick’s Athletic and Drogheda United.
“It all depends on the draw and it all depends on how we play on the night but the reality is that you have to take it one step at a time. It’s [the semi-final] going to be a difficult game no matter who you get,” said Devine after the game.
“Why shouldn’t we be in the Aviva Stadium - we are just as ambitious as everyone else so hopefully if we get a few players back over the coming weeks we can finish the season on a high. But we’ll not get carried away, we’ll keep the heads down, work hard, hopefully get a few wins under our belts and take a decent run of forms into the semi-final in a few weeks time.
“The players have given it everything tonight so hopefully we’ll see it carry over into league form next week.
“I am delighted with the performance, the score, the focus of the players and I am delighted to be in the semi-final of the FAI Cup.”
Devine praised his team’s performance and refused to let Mervue’s Division One status trivialise the win.
“We played some great football out there tonight and some people will point to the fact that they [Mervue United] are First Division opposition but the reality is, we passed the ball around out there tonight for fun.
“The quality of our game has been like that for the last few games. The intensity of our passing has been good and I think we have always had the threat that we were going to score a few goals against a team someday. I am a firm believer that if you work hard you will get your rewards and I feel that’s what happened out there tonight. Patrick McEleney scored a wonder goal in the first half and ok it’s a wonder goal but the reason he got the goal was because he has worked hard and he really put in a shift tonight.”
Devine went on to praise the performance of hat-trick scorer and record breaker Mark Farren and David McDaid, who netted his 13th goal of the season.
“Davy McDaid did really well again tonight. For a player who hasn’t had a lot of games throughout the years, Davy has scored some really important goals for us this season. I am also delighted with the way Barry McNamee played and Stephen McLaughlin was playing with an injury. It was also nice to see Ryan Curran score his first senior goal. I am delighted for Mark, he’s been here a long time and deserves it - I just hope he can push on and score a few more now.”