Adam O'Reilly's let off the leash by Derry City boss

​DERRY City midfielder Adam O'Reilly was beaming with confidence after his winning strike against Drogheda, sending a warning to league leaders Bohemians ahead of Friday night's clash at Dalymount Park.

Ruaidhri Higgins 'let him off the leash' against the Boynesiders at Weavers Park and it reaped its rewards as he opened his City account with a terrific 12th minute strike which proved the winner.

The Derry boss believes the Cork man will become an integral part of his team and with the confidence of finally getting off the mark after nine appearances, it's a timely upturn in fortunes ahead of a massive showdown with the league leaders this weekend.

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"It wasn't nice losing to Rovers so the reaction we showed against Drogheda shows how good a team we are," said O'Reilly who praised the unity and togetherness in the Derry dressing room.

"We always stick together. There's always a good vibe in the camp and we were looking forward to the game and coming away with the win is great.

"We came down here knowing it was going to be a tough game but the boys worked their socks off and it was a good win in the end.

"That's given us a boost in confidence and I think we needed that to push us back up towards the top of the league, so we're looking forward to the game against Bohemians next week."

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Derry had to dig deep to protect their clean sheet in Drogheda but with the forward line misfiring of late, O'Reilly was delighted to chip in with a goal and hopes there's more to follow.

Derry City midfielder Adam O'Reilly celebrates his first goal for the club. Photo by Kevin MooreDerry City midfielder Adam O'Reilly celebrates his first goal for the club. Photo by Kevin Moore
Derry City midfielder Adam O'Reilly celebrates his first goal for the club. Photo by Kevin Moore

"I'm delighted. I've said before I wanted to add goals to my game and thankfully I got one. I think those are the nicest kind of wins, to win 1-0, keeping a clean sheet.

"The defence today and Brian (Maher) making those saves, were excellent so I'm delighted. Before the game the gaffer said to me 'you can push up a bit more' and I kind of got a bit excited," he laughed.

"I got up there and thankfully Jordan (McEneff) set it up and I caught it nicely and it went straight into the corner so I'll take it!"

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Higgins was delighted to see O’Reilly get on the goalscoring act and predicts a bright future for the ex-Preston man.

“I'm delighted for him to get off the mark. He's going to be a big player for us. We missed him at the start of the season in a lot of the games. He's going to be a hell of a player.”

"He had a couple of chances in the first half and I think when you have the energy that Adam has, he wants to be let off the leash and he's got that in him.

"He scored a couple of big goals for St Pats last year and he's got that energy to get in the box and it was a great goal. That will give him great confidence.”

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