DECLAN DEVINE is determined to avoid a third successive defeat against Shamrock Rovers but warned his players they must be on top of their game to take anything from Tallaght on Saturday night.
The Hoops are the only team in the top flight Derry haven’t taken a single point off this season having lost 2-0 in Dublin last February, followed by a narrow 1-0 loss at Brandywell in April.
Derry have the opportunity to close the gap on third placed Bohemians who don’t play this weekend and Devine would love to go into the upcoming three week break with a positive result.
“We were disappointed we didn’t take anything against Rovers in our game game at Brandywell,” said Devine.
“Shamrock Rovers is the one team we haven’t taken anything off. We have to try and improve that but in order for us to get anything in Tallaght we need to be on top of our game.
“You don’t want any team in the country turning you over three or four times in a season,” he insisted.
“It’s a brilliant game for us. We haven’t had any game time since the Finn Harps league match in terms of having our strongest side out.
“Going to Tallaght is a high level game but it’s a game we will be determined to get something from.
“Rovers have been fantastic this year. I watched them recently down in Ballybofey and they won comfortably.
“They’ve got a unique style of play where they are very comfortable on the ball and try to build from the back.
“We performed quite well against them in our last game at the Brandywell in front of the TV cameras.
“It’s a great test for us and a chance to see how far we’ve come in a short period of time so I’m looking forward to it.”
Devine must plan without the injured Darren Cole (knee), Patrick McClean (thigh) and Michael McCrudden (broken foot) but the City boss claims the rest of the squad are desperate to get back to action.
“We’re down a few bodies but everyone is chomping at the bit to get a game as it’s been so long since we’ve played one.
“If we can get something from the game it’ll be great. “We have a lot of games when we come back but the way things are going at the minute, we’re not in a bad place and we have to be able to hit the ground running.”
“We’re concentrating on getting something from Saturday but when we come back after the break there’s a lot of big games coming our way and we’ve got to make sure we’re strong.”