RODDY Collins claims he has learned something new about the character of his Derry City side after Friday night’s performance at Dalymount Park and was delighted with the way his troops battled back to secure a share of the spoils.
The Dubliner returned to his old stomping ground on Friday night under no illusions as to the task at hand. Indeed, he expected a tough test against his former charges who were chasing a first win of the campaign on home soil and that’s exactly what developed.
Both sides have had sluggish starts to the new season and so there was much at stake in this action packed encounter.
The match produced two red cards, a goal of the season contender from Patrick McEleney while veteran striker, Jason Byrne rolled back the years with a tireless display in the Bohs’ front line.
Derry were under the cosh for much of the first half and Byrne was a dominant force and could really have scored a hat-trick had it not been for the heroics of Gerard Doherty.
The ‘Candy Stripes’ battled back to clinch a fourth consecutive draw and Collins was surprised at the tenacity and battling qualities his side possessed when going down to 10 men.
“When you’re down to 10 men away from home then the pressure’s off you because you have an excuse and we were playing with that pressure off,” he said. “And that’s something I’ve learned about this team.
“We were the underdogs and we when we were underdogs we were comfortable, we were happy, so maybe that’s something I need to address in the mind-set of the team.
“Maybe I’ve been expecting too much from them. But every ground you play in and every game in the first round of games is going to be tough.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”
Collins felt the sending off of both Patterson and Dinny Corcoran were harsh decision and he was happy to make the return journey up the M1 with a point.
“I really thought it was a harsh decision (Patterson red card). He came around from the side and the ball bounced up and he tried to go and get the ball. There was no malice, well I didn’t see it that way anyway so I thought it was harsh. When we get back up the road people will say, 11 games only two wins but I’d rather have two wins and seven draws than five wins and four losses to be honest. People say it’s inconsistent but I say it’s consistent when we are hard to beat.”
The return of Ryan McBride was a positive for Collins and he feels his side is slowly but surely taking shape.
“I thought with Jon Paul getting 90 minutes under his belt and with Rory (Patterson) back in the side I just thought there was something there ready to click.
“We have Barry McNamee to come back in and we definitely miss Barry Molloy. In every game he hasn’t played we’ve missed him but he’ll be back for the Rovers game.”
As for Monday night’s League Cup opener against Sligo Rovers in the Sligo Showgrounds, Collins will assess the condition of his players at training on Sunday before making his mind up on his team selection.
“It’s a hard game against Sligo and it’s a situation where we have to see who’s fit and who’s struggling after Friday night.
“We’ll play those who need game time. I’ll see how the lads train on Sunday. But if you ask me if I would rather have three points against Bohs than a win against Sligo, then yes 100 per cent.”