‘We need to play better’

Derry City defender Stewart Greacen. Photo: Lorcan Doherty Photography

Derry City defender Stewart Greacen. Photo: Lorcan Doherty Photography

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Derry City defender Stewart Greacen said that he and the rest of the team were “bitterly disappointed” with how they performed in the 2-1 defeat to U.C.D. at the Brandywell on Friday evening.

The 30 year-old Scot has missed much of the season due to injury and although happy to get through a full 90 minutes he said that he would much rather be celebrating three points.

“We are bitterly disappointed with both the performance and the result,” said Greacen after the game.

“I think that they [U.C.D.] deserved to win the game. We were poor from start to finish. I know we huffed and puffed a wee bit towards the end but if truth be told they were the better team on the night.”

U.C.D. took the lead in the first half when Barry McCabe beat the off-side trap to fire the ball past Doherty. The Students’ second goal was almost a carbon copy of the their first when again they beat the off-side trap, only this time it was David McMillan who forced the ball past the Derry shot-stopper.

“I certainly think their first goal was offside but the referee didn’t give it but still we have to defend those situations and we didn’t do it tonight.

“To be fair to U.C.D. they could have scored before then anyway but to concede a second in the way we did was just criminal.”

Greacen tried to explain why he thought Derry had lost the game. He said that he thought too many players in the team didn’t perform to the standard they’re accustomed to. He added that silly mistakes ended up costing the team the game.

“I think that it was a case that too many of us were off tonight and if you don’t get tight to U.C.D. they will pass the ball around you and punish you and that’s what they did to us.

“To be fair to U.C.D. they came up here and passed the ball well and created some great chances - we didn’t do any of that so we can have no complaints about being beaten.”

Derry trailed the Students for most of the game but when substitute Kevin Deery made it 2-1 Derry manager Declan Devine decided to push Greacen into the attacking line.

It was a move that almost paid off in the dying seconds of the game when, from close distance, Greacen went close to netting an equaliser for the Candy Stripes - but it wasn’t to be.

“I was up there at the death and I certainly should have scored but I got too much on it. It was a great pass by young Barry McNamee but I just couldn’t connect with the ball the right way - I really should have done better from there if I am honest.

“It was disappointing to miss it because it was a good chance but really it would have been harsh on U.C.D. to have only come away with a draw.”

Derry City take on league leaders Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds next Saturday and Greacen says that if the team fail to learn from the mistakes in the U.C.D. game they will be “murdered”.

“Tonight’s the first real 90 minutes I have played in a while so I am pleased with side of it but the reality of the situation is that if we don’t improve for the Sligo Rovers game next Saturday night we will get murdered. We need to play better.

“We are disappointed with tonight’s result but we will work on things during the week and hopefully we will be able to bounce back soon.”