BRANDYWELL boss, Peter Hutton, insisted there “will not be wholesale changes” to the Derry City team which faces Bray Wanderers in the Carlisle Grounds tonight. (7.45 p.m.)
Hutton also insisted that it was a match he was anxious to win before he starts to prepare for this Sunday afternoon’s high profile FAI Cup semi-final against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.
“We do have a few injury worries and I think it’s fair to say that those carrying knocks will not be risked in the game against Bray,” insisted Hutton.
“Barry Molloy (groin) and Stephen Dooley (tight hamstring) were both substituted during Friday night’s game against Athlone Town while Patrick McEleney sustained a knock on the training ground and is also considered a doubt at this stage,” confirmed the Derry boss.
“However, we will have a look at things in advance of the kick-off and see how we are fixed.
“That said, the full squad will travel and while I do not like the term ‘resting players,’ unless they are injured or suspended, we will also have a strong substitutes’ bench available.”
Suggesting tonight’s league game in Wicklow was “very important,” Hutton was adamant he wanted his players to prepare for the cup semi-final in a confident and positive frame of mind.
“It’s an important game for us and I’ve no doubt that Shamrock Rovers will also be strong when they face UCD on Tuesday night.
“They will also wish to build momentum going into the semi-final and, as I said last week, performances against both Athlone Town and Bray Wanderers will be taken into consideration before the starting XI is selected for Sunday’s game.
“The game in Bray is a fixture I want to win as we hope to finish fifth in the league table and it’s also worth nothing that both Bohemians and Drogheda are just one point behind us at the moment.
“I expect a battle against a team attempting to avoid relegation issues in their compact surroundings. Our players will be focused on Tuesday’s game and not concerned about the cup match until after the final whistle,” claimed Hutton.
“I felt we were poor against Athlone in the first half, but better in the second. They managed to frustrate us and I think it will be a case of more of the same in Bray.
“Hopefully, we will start positively, try to give very little away and be patient but we need to play at a much higher tempo.”
Disappointed at conceding a very early goal o nFriday, Hutton hoped that would not be case tonight.
“Our defence seemed to switch off and we afforded Athlone the freedom of the Brandywell which was disappointing as that is so unlike us.
“Maybe it was case of players making sure they were not going to get injured given this weekend’s match, but we certainly can’t do that against Bray on Tuesday night and I really want to record a positive result before we commence our preparations for the Rovers game,” he concluded.
FAI CUP SEMI-FINAL
Meanwhile, Derry City have received a limited number of tickets for this Sunday’s FAI Cup semi-final.
Those interested in securing the tickets can do so at the club’s office in Brandywell Stadium from this morning.