PATRICK McEleney shouldered the blame for Derry City’s failure to claim victory against UCD on Friday night but the Shantallow man has assured supporters the Brandywell club will soon turn around its fortunes.
The talented midfielder missed a penalty 10 minutes into Friday’s clash with the students of UCD as Buncrana man, Conor O’Donnell produced an excellent one-handed save to tip his effort over the crossbar.
And McEleney, who was a threat right up until he was replaced by Ray Foy in the 81st minute after sustaining a slight hamstring pull, was disappointed not to register his first strike of the season - a goal which would have put a totally different slant on the match.
“I’m disappointed with the result, especially after missing the penalty because we should have won the game,” said McEleney. “So it’s not a great result.
“It was a great save from the goalkeeper but I should have scored it. It’s from 12 yards out and had I scored then it would have been ‘game over’ in my opinion, because at that stage we were on a high.
“But at least we played a bit better. We passed and moved it a bit better and they scored a wonder goal. Robbie Benson’s a good player and it’s just one of those things.”
Derry showed great spirit to bounce back from that sublime UCD strike on the half hour and equalised just before the interval through Michael Duffy who scored his second of the season.
And McEleney had plenty of praise for the Galliagh lad who he claims can go on to further his career across Channel.
“It was a great ball in by J.P. (McGovern) and a good header by Mickey (Duffy). Mickey’s been threatening every time he gets the ball. He’s doing well and people forget he’s still young - he’s only 19 and has a couple of years left in his contract and whether he stays here at Brandywell or not, he has the makings to go on and make it elsewhere.”
The ‘Candy Stripes’ have scored just seven goals during the opening 10 league fixtures and McEleney claims the whole team must start to ‘chip in’ with goals.
“It’s up to us all to chip in (with goals). I should have got one (against UCD) and obviously we have the boys that aren’t playing like Rory (Patterson) and we need him back in to get goals.
“And then Enda (Curran) has a couple of goals so there’s goals in the team we just have to believe in ourselves a bit more.
“It’s hard for the fans at the minute. I know that as I’ve been here a few years now. We did have a couple of good chances to win the game; I should have scored as well in the second half so it’s just disappointing for me because if I had of scored my penalty then we would have won the game.
“You can take positives from the performances but for a club like Derry we should be winning and whether it comes, time will tell,” he concluded.