‘Cam’ heads the key to Derry City's new-found defensive solidity
CAMERON McJannet believes his defensive partner Mark Connolly has helped raise the standards at Derry City and brought about a new-found defensive solidity.
The City defence has kept three clean sheets on the bounce in all competitions and McJannet reckons former Dundee United man Connolly has helped steady the ship and altered the mindset in the Derry dressing room. Derry are unbeaten since Connolly’s arrival and have registered four clean sheets in the six matches he’s played. It’s been no coincidence and his leadership qualities and defensive quality have been welcomed by McJannet.”We didn’t have enough clean sheets during the first half of the season and to be honest I owe Brian (Maher) a couple of clean sheets,” he smiled.“When we were in comfortable, winning positions I’ve cost Brian a couple of clean sheets but I’ve made my peace with him so it’s alright. Since Mark has come in he’s brought a solidity to the defence,” he added, “Every minute until the final whistle everybody keeps their standards up and it’s made a big difference since he’s come in.“We stay focussed the whole way through the game and before you know it you’ve kept another clean sheet. The standards have been getting higher but we can always improve so hopefully we keep a few more clean sheets. A clean sheet is a team thing but everybody has been chipping in with defensive work.”The Derry defence will need to be at their best to keep out a dangerous Bohemians attack who arrive on Foyleside managerless, but brimming with confidence following last week’s victory over Shamrock Rovers.”Often when a manager gets sacked, players come out for the next few games and play really well, whether players are thinking they need to fight for their place again or whatever,” warned McJannet, “We know Bohs will always be at it and they’ll have great confidence from beating Rovers but we will be ready.“I’ve heard them say they’re going to run until they can’t run anymore so we’ve got to match that and be better than them.”The former Stoke City defender was treated to dinner by his teammates as he celebrated his 24th birthday on Tuesday but another clean sheet tonight would be the perfect present. He’s also got history of scoring important goals against the Gypsies so can we expect him to be making his trademark surging runs from deep?One such run against UCD last Friday night led to Ryan Graydon’s opening goal but McJannet was disappointed not to get the assist as James Akintunde touched his pass onto the post in the build-up.“Yeah, James has apologised to me for missing that one but I made a deal with him that he’ll give me the assist for Graydo’s goal! I like getting forward. We haven’t been good enough from set pieces this year but I’ve scored a couple against Bohs so hopefully I can do it again.“Hopefully we can keep getting results at home in front of the fans for the rest of the season It’s been great to have a bit of momentum and win three games in a week. We’ll just try our best to keep that momentum going."