Doherty returns for Derry

�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 25th February 2012. ''Derry City Football Club 2012.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 25th February 2012. ''Derry City Football Club 2012.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

Gerard Doherty returns to active service between the posts tonight after his wife, Adele, gave birth to twins on Tuesday. (7.45 p.m.)

Gerard Doherty returns to active service between the posts tonight after his wife, Adele, gave birth to twins on Tuesday. (7.45 p.m.)

Reserve keeper, Eugene Ferry, stepped into the breach in the Sligo on Tuesday night but the deputy custodian could not be faulted for any of the four goals conceded.

Now focused on the visit of Drogheda, Brandywell boss, Declan Devine felt the Boynesiders have been enjoying an excellent season, but claimed his weakened panel would stand up to what’s expected to be a tough challenge.

“They have definitely emerged the surprise packages of the season so far,” he admitted. “They’ve done very well this season and appear to have stood up well to the challenges of the top teams in the league so far,” said Declan.

“Mick Cooke has them in the top four on merit and I’ve no doubt that they will continue to improve having added new faces over recent days.”

With Drogheda having already recruited new players, did Devine expect to make significant signings now that Transfer Window was about to swing open this Sunday given his lack of strength in depth?

He answered: “There’s very little money to sign new players but, hopefully, I will manage to add one new signing and anything after that will be a bonus.

“We may be struggling to fill our substitutes’ bench at the moment, but we’ve got to continue our attempts to develop young players and bring them through to the first team. However, on the bench that we used in the Cork match last weekend, just one of those players - Barry McNamee - had actually started a senior game since the season started.

“While I feel we have a talented group of youngsters anxious to start games, we’ve got to be careful when throwing them into action. Some of them have been used as substitutes and they did well, but we can’t take too many risks.

“I’m hoping that all those involved will stand up and be counted against Drogheda. We’ve got to deal with our problems and attempt to get back to winning ways,” insisted Devine.