Declan Devine has faith in youthful Derry City squad

Derry City manager Declan Devine admits that while results haven’t been good enough, he’s fully confident his young squad can turn things around at St Patrick’s Athletic tomorrow night (KO 5.45pm).

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 6:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 6:18 pm
Derry City's Darren Cole is out of tomorrow night's game at St Patrick's Athletic.

The City boss, who has a fully fit squad to choose from apart from Darren Cole who is out with a back problem, has praised his players, who he admits continue to come into training each day full of confidence, ready to learn and haven’t let their opening two defeats effect them.

“Results have to be better,” he insisted. “Let’s not get away from that. We have played two games and we should have been winning those games and that’s no disrespect to the opposition, but we didn’t win and I think a lot of that was our own self doing.

“We have given away goals that we can’t give away in this league because it’s ruthless and if you give away those types of goals, then you aren’t going to win football matches and you also give yourself a mountain to climb. Let’s be honest about it.

“Look, let’s not get away from the fact that the two results have been poor, but we also have to understand that there’s a lot of improvement. I come into the Brandywell every day and I see the boys’ willingness to learn.

“It would be different if you were coming in and you see people shying away from responsibility. I don’t see that here What I do see is young players that come in every day chirpy and really interested in getting better.

“To be honest that’s all I can ask for and I take full responsibility on the last two results, it’s my job, but at the same time I’m very positive about the future and the way the club is going that we will pick up some results sooner rather than later.”

Devine, who saw the Saints at first hand during their recent narrow 2-1 win over Drogheda United, knows Stephen O’Donnell has a top quality squad, but he travels to Richmond Park confident that his side can get a positive result.

“It’s a game against a very good side and it’s a game where the players all week have been really looking forward to it,” he added.

“I was down and watched St Pat’s a few weeks ago against Drogheda, the weekend that we had off and they were very good. Look when you have a team with Jamie Lennon, (Chris) Forrester and (Robbie) Benson in it, you know that you are going to have a tough night and they have added really well in (Ronan) Coughlan and (Matty) Smith. Their goalkeeper (Vitezslav Jaros) looks the real deal and Lee Desmond is as good a centre-back that there is in the league, so yeah I have just named a lot of good players, but what we have to understand here is that I know the results have been poor in the first two games but I believe in these players.

“We have so many young players that are finding their way and are starting out in the game. This is what people were telling me that they wanted - a young local identity with players that will potentially be at the club for a long time. I see that in abundance when I look around at the team we have got Eoin Toal 22, Jack Malone just turned 21, Cameron McJannet 23, Ciaron Harkin, now is like an elder statesman here and he’s only 25; David Parkhouse is back and will be a brilliant signing for us and he’s only 21.

“So look, we have an influx of young players and it has been unfortunate for Caolan McLaughlin, who has come on in the two games and it has been two defeats, but young Caolan, Ronan Boyce, Micheál Glynn, Patrick Ferry and Brendan Barr are all good young players and we have no doubt that they are going to have a huge future in the game.

“Yes we can talk about all the stars that St Pat’s have, but I’m quite happy going to Dublin with the players that I have as well.”