Derry City boss, Declan Devine described his team’s performance against Drogheda United as one of the worst he has seen and has challenged his players to raise their game ahead of Friday night’s visit of UCD.
Admitting that the ‘Candy Stripes’ didn’t deserve to take anything from the encounter against Mick Cooke’s men, Devine added that his players can’t take teams for granted.
“Drogheda ran over the top of us and we haven’t stood up to be counted so, we have to take a look at ourselves, all of us, and realise why we were so poor,” said Devine.
“It’s as poor as I’ve seen in a long time from a Derry side. So we either have to stand up and be counted or we bring in some new people.
“There’s always a chance to put things right,” he added. “I’d prefer the game coming up to be coming up a bit sooner but, it gives us a chance, it’s a reality check for us and like I said over the last few weeks we’ve all had a few pats on the back and I was reluctant to accept the pats on the back because I knew it wasn’t going to be a bed of roses.
“So we have to accept Friday night wasn’t a good night at the office and we’ll come back in and work very hard and get back to where we can be.”
“You know some games you can get by when one or two players don’t perform but I think that the vast majority of players did not perform against Drogheda.
“We have to realise that we have to show every team we play the respect they deserve. I have been telling the players that there will not be an easy game in this league this season.
“Every team we play will be out to take points off us and we have to realise this. We have to be at our best for every game because if we are not, we will be punished like we were on Friday.
“I thought that we prepared well for Friday’s game and the thing that’s hardest to swallow is that our performance didn’t match our preparation.”
Devine went on to apologise to all of the Derry City fans who made the 250 mile round trip to Hunky Dorys Park on Friday.
“The fans use their hard earned money and take time off work to come and support us and I will always be grateful to them for that but, we have to fulfil our side of the bargain and give them something to cheer about.
“I just hope that they understand that we didn’t intentionally play like we did on Friday. I hope that we can continue to enjoy their support because we need them.”
Derry City skipper, Kevin Deery recovered from a knee injury to make his first appearance of the season and Devine said that he was happy to see the midfielder back in action.
“The result and performance aside, I was happy to see Kevin Deery because one thing you are guaranteed when Kevin plays for this football club is commitment, effort and drive.”