Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins braced for 'one of the toughest games of season' as Bohs arrive on Foyleside

VICTORY over Bohemians on Friday night would move Derry City to within a single point of leaders Shamrock Rovers but Ruaidhri Higgins doesn’t expect the reigning champions to wilt under the pressure.

The Brandywell boss is delighted with his team’s form as a 10 match unbeaten run has seemingly re-ignited Derry’s chances of challenging for the title as they seek a third league win on the spin when managerless Bohs arrive on Foyleside.

It would be a significant turnaround given Derry recently trailed Rovers by 10 points and the opportunity to close the gap to the minimum ahead of Rovers meeting with Finn Harps on Sunday will act as a major incentive for the Candy Stripes.Rovers of course will have two games in hand and Derry must win against Bohs to ensure they stay on the coattails of the champions.“I don’t like looking at ifs, buts and maybes,” said Higgins, “We just need to keep trying to pick up three points. You might think I’m thinking something different but I’m not.“I just want to win this game and prepare for Tuesday against Sligo. That’s the way we’ve always done it and will continue to do it.“Whatever the points difference will be, will be. We just want to win this game and for me this will be one of the toughest games of the season.”Despite Rovers’ European distractions, Higgins doesn’t expect it to derail their focus.“They’ve a lot of serial winners so they’re used to playing with pressure. We’ve a bit of work to do to get it to that stage so unless we win on Friday night that conversation is dead. We just need to focus on winning the game and see where it takes us.”

A repeat of the second half performance against UCD would give Derry every chance of clinching an important win and Higgins has been pleased with how his team have been defending as a group.

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"What was pleasing about the three wins was that we had three clean sheets as well. We weren't giving up loads of chances,” added Higgins.

Derry City skipper Patrick McEleney played a key role in Derry's excellent second half performance against UCD.