Danny Lafferty hopes Derry City can right the wrongs from Brandywell loss to Finn Harps
DANNY LAFFERTY outlined Derry City’s intention to ‘right the wrongs’ of their heart-wrenching last gasp North West derby defeat last month when they reignite their rivalry with Finn Harps at Ballybofey tonight.
Adam Foley’s 89th minute winner at Brandywell saw Derry slump to their only defeat so far under the stewardship of Ruaidhri Higgins and ensured a first ever league win for the Donegal men on Foyleside.
It was a bitter blow for the Candy Stripes who had clinched impressive away wins against Sligo Rovers and Bohemians leading into that clash as the result stopped them in their tracks and brought to an end a four match unbeaten run.
Once again Derry go into the derby with their tails up having gone on a six match unbeaten run since that defeat to Harps on May 3rd and after a last gasp equaliser against Bohemians last weekend, Lafferty is determined to build the momentum.
The added incentive ahead of Friday’s game is Higgins’ charges will replace Finn Harps in sixth spot with victory.
“We obviously want to continue to climb the table,” said the experienced full-back. “It’s well documented about our home form this year but that point (against Bohs) keeps the momentum going. It keeps that feel good factor within the group going.
“We just want to keep that rolling into Friday night and a big local derby. We want to put the wrongs right in that game from the previous game at home. We want to keep building momentum and see where it takes us.”
Derry have fought back to earn seven points from losing positions this season, including the point against Bohemians last Friday night thanks to Marc Walsh’s 94th minute equaliser.
Former Burnley and Sheffield United left-back Lafferty believes it’s a sign of the character and ‘never-say-die’ attitude in the ranks.
“Considering the way the game went, given we went behind quite late in the game it was a good result. The character the team showed and not for the first time this season, that never-say-die or never give up attitude, it’s a great trait to have in the group. We just kept going until the final whistle and probably deserved to get something out of the game.”
It was far from City’s best performance of the season and the search for a first home win, despite the presence of 155 supporters for the first time since February last year, goes on.
However, Higgins’ second half substitutions changed the game as Will Fitzgerald, Jack Malone and Walsh all made a positive impact and the reaction to going behind is something Lafferty believes will instil confidence.
“It’s not in doubt in the group that the home win will come,” insisted the Carnhill man. “We’ve dismissed that in the group and it’s not even a thought in our minds. Each game is taken on its merits.
“We just kept going tonight and credit to the substitutes who came off the bench and gave us another gear coming into the last 10 or 15 minutes. Marc and Jack and Will really drove us on.
We deserved something out of the game and I suppose a point is better than none. So it helped us climb one position at least.”
Lafferty, who played a part in the move which led to the equaliser, showed his versatility during the game as he moved from the wing-back position in a 3-5-2 formation to left-back in a 4-4-2 when McJannet sustained a head injury. And he believes the ability of the team to adapt to various different styles and formations bodes well.
There’s a lot of versatility in the squad but we know we will improve and keeping possession of the ball is something we have to improve on going forward.”