DERRY City’s confidence boost following last weekend’s victory over Shelbourne will, according to Declan Devine, stand his side in good stead when they welcome Shamrock Rovers to Brandywell tomorrow evening. (5.00 p.m.)
However, while the Derry boss has been forced to plan without the services of EIGHT of his first team squad, he still believes his “Candy Stripes” will have enough in the locker to see off the challenge of the “Hoops.”
“We will be down a few bodies due to injury, plus the suspension of Ryan McBride, which will certainly cause us a few problems,” he admitted.
“But we’ll just have to roll up our sleeves and get on with it, but I believe we have enough to cause Rovers problems,” added Devine.
Injuries to Kevin Deery, Stewart Greacen, Thomas Crawley, Eoghan Osborne, Paddy Kavanagh and Sean Houston keeps those players out of contention while McBride’s additional one match ban following a recent sending off hasn’t helped.
Add in the fact that Michael Duffy will represent the N. Ireland Under-21’s tonight at Mourneview Park before he departs for Europe and an Under-21 European Championship qualifying game next week. Ryan Curran is on standby for that game while Barry McNamee is on standby for the Republic of Ireland’s Under-21 international.
And another young Derry player, Josh Tracey has already left for a European tournament at Under-17 level with the N. Ireland team.
However, Devine has opted to rest central defender Shane McEleney this week, the 23-years-old having felt a twinge on his hamstring against Shelbourne and he was replaced after just 33 minutes.
“Given Ryan McBride’s suspension, we couldn’t afford to take any chances with Shane but he’s trained and he should be okay,” claimed Devine.
“Rovers will fancy their chances, so we will have to match their work rate.
FOR MATCH PREVIEW
- See Page 78