AVENGING Derry City’s bitterly disappointing home League Cup semi-final defeat to Drogheda, is not an issue according to Brandywell boss, Declan Devine.
Indeed, the Creggan man extended his best wishes to Mick Cooke’s men as they prepare to face Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium in next month’s final, which is a repeat of last season’s showpiece.
Devine now points to the importance of three points, suggesting that the league fixture would prove to be a totally different game.
“The League Cup semi-final is dead and buried and good luck to Drogheda who deserved their 3-1 win at the Brandywell,” admitted Devine last night.
“Friday night’s game is a league fixture and it’s certainly one we hope to win, not for revenge or anger or anything like that. Three points are on offer and we will be doing all in our power to secure them.
“Friday night’s game is about improving on what had been a very poor performance in the League Cup. It’s about hoping that our players have learned from that experience and basically battle hard in the hope of securing another three league points.”
He insisted that his side would now be forced into a battle royale in every game they would play between now and October.
“We will have to battle hard for every point and every other team challenging for the title will be doing exactly the game.
“We must channel our enthusiasm and our desire against Drogheda, impose ourselves and believe in ourselves if we are to achieve maximum points.”
He argued that the fixture was not a “must win” situation.
“Trophies will not be presented at the Brandywell tonight and while I don’t consider it a must win situation, we would give ourselves a great chance if we did manage to win it.
“Drogheda are fit and physically strong and while they can be direct, they also boast quality footballers who can hurt you.
“That said, we were the authors of our own downfall in the League Cup game, so I’m not getting hung up on the opposition, I’d rather concentrate on our response which saw us craft out a 3-1 victory at UCD last week.
“We must try to build on that as any team in the top four which can get a winning run of four or five games together, will be in the mix for the title, I’ve absolutely no doubt about that.
“But I also believe that we have the players capable of going on such a run, but it will take a big effort from everyone.”
On the team front Kevin Deery and Stewart Greacen have been ruled out due to injury.