MARTIN McCann and Sean Hargan will occupy the Derry City dugout tonight as Derry City boss, Peter Hutton, has been banished to the stand as his side attempts to secure a semi-final place in the FAI Cup. (7.45 p.m.)
Hutton, who was ordered off the pitch by referee, David McKeon, during the last home match against Sligo Rovers, must serve his one match suspension this evening, but he’s confident that his former playing colleagues will prove to be adequate replacements.
“Unfortunately for me, I’ve been given a one match ban which must be served for the FAI Cup replay, but I will be in regular contact with the dugout as the match progresses,” said Hutton.
“I will be taking no comfort from sitting in the stand, but our coaching staff have all been heavily involved in the preparations for the Drogheda game,” he added.
On the team front, Barry Molloy appears to be struggling with a groin problem sustained during Friday night’s game at United Park, but Hutton was hopeful that his influential skipper would pass a pre-match fitness test.
“Barry did not train, but he’s receiving regular treatement on a groin problem. So we’ll leave it until the last possible moment to give him every chance to prove his fitness.”
Rory Patterson did train yesterday morning and got through the session without any difficulty having been struggling with a back problem.
“We’ve been monitoring Rory’s situation on a daily basis. He trained well and seemed to get through okay, but we’ll wait until Tuesday to make sure his back problem is okay,” continued Hutton.
Therefore, the Derry boss is expected to select a starting line-up similar to that which figured at United Park and Hutton has warned his players on the dangers of complacency.
“Drogheda have a number of players suspended for the game, but I’ve no doubt that Damien (Richardson) will field an experienced side for the replay,” insisted Hutton.
“Experienced players such as Paul Crawley, Declan O’Brien, Cathal Brady and Paul Andrews will be expected to step into the breach as they do have strength in depth.
“I’ve no doubt either that they will play on the issue that they are down to the bare bones and that few are giving them a chance of getting through.
“However, that line of thought does not exist in our dressing room. We will be facing a dangerous opponent who will continue to cause us problems, particularly in setpiece situations.
“We will be closed down at every available opportunity and they will attempt to hit us on the break, so we’re taking absolutely nothing for granted and Drogheda will receive the same respect offered to Dundalk or St. Patrick’s Athletic,” declared the Derry boss.
“This tie is far from over and while the wide open spaces at the Brandywell will prove to be in our favour, the players are certainly looking forward to the tie and, hopefully, we can score an early goal but, on this occasion, try to build on such an advantage,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, tickets for tonight’s Cup replay are now available at all Derry City ticket outlets - Jobby’s, Racecourse Road; Myra’s Shop, Culmore Road; P. J.’s, William Street; The Link Service Station, Hatmore; Terrace Stores, Elmwood Tce.; Centra, Trench Road; Centra, Buncrana Road; Derry City S.C., Harkin’s, Lecky Road and in the “Candy Stripe Store”at Brandywell.