MICK Cooke leads Drogheda United back to the Brandywell tonight in the knowledge that Derry City are keen to end what has been a poor run of results against the “Boynesiders.” (Kick-off: 7.45 p.m.)
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
But having hit UCD for six without reply in the Belfield Bowl last Friday night, Declan Devine holds the view that the confidence gained from that victory could see Derry finally remove the Indian Sign which has hovered over his side for the past three years!
“I don’t think we’ve managed to get a win over Drogheda in the past three years,” said Devine last night. “So maybe it’s time we redressed the balance and build on the victory we enjoyed over UCD on Friday,” he added.
But he was also the first to point out that Drogheda boasted a significant physical presence which continues to serve them well in the Airtricity League.
“They finished second to Sligo Rovers last season and made everyone sit up and take notice, so credit to Mick Cooke who has worked wonders with them.
“They held us to a 1-1 result on their last visit to the Brandywell in the Setanta Cup, a match I felt we really should have done better in. Then again, we led them at Hunky Dorys Park last week when reduced to 10 men, but we let ourselves down again when conceding two goals.
“So that tells me there’s not too much between the sides and I’ve no doubt our players are eagerly looking forward to the game in an attempt to build on our win over UCD,” continued Devine.
On the team front, Derry will be expected to field the same team which travelled to Belfield on Friday with the club’s five injured players still not yet ready to return.
“Stewart Greacen went under the surgeon’s knife on Sunday in Glasgow and he will be out for six weeks. Paddy Kavanagh, Dermot McCaffrey and Sean Houston continue to improve but they are not quite ready to return just yet while Patrick McEleney continues to nurse a hip injury,” confirmed Devine.
“Some of the lads are almost ready to return, but we will opt against throwing them in unless they are 100 per cent.”
Rory Patterson, who netted a hat-trick on Friday and Kevin Deery, who sustained a kick to the knee, were both substituted against UCD with tonight’s match very much in mind.”
CONTINUED ON PAGE 61 SIDEBAR