Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins feels fans energy can drive his side on against Finn Harps

Derry City’s Cameron Dummigan is rated doubtful for tomorrow night’s North West derby against Finn Harps.
Manager Ruaidhrí Higgins feels the club has made huge strides over the last year but admits things have been tough recently.Manager Ruaidhrí Higgins feels the club has made huge strides over the last year but admits things have been tough recently.
Manager Ruaidhrí Higgins feels the club has made huge strides over the last year but admits things have been tough recently.

The talented midfielder was forced off with a groin problem after just 26 minutes of Monday night’s defeat at Sligo Rovers and Ruaidhrí Higgins has confirmed he’ll be assessed ahead of kick-off for tomorrow evening's encounter at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, a match in which the Derry boss promises to stick to his principles.

The Limavady man wants his players to continue playing ‘on the front foot’ despite their recent dip in form which has seen them lose their last three games.

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Higgins warned the Donegal men will be well drilled under Ollie Horgan’s and says he’s expecting a tough test.

“We’ll assess Cameron on Friday. He’s a doubt but the rest of the squad remains the same,” confirmed Higgins.

“They’ll be well set-up and they’ll come here with a plan. To be honest both teams aren’t in brilliant form but even if one of us was in good form and the other wasn’t, it wouldn’t matter because form goes out the window in these types of games.

“We need to dig in, compete and try to play the way we want to play because when you go through difficult moment in a season, it’s easy to go in a different direction, maybe become more defensive, but we don’t want to do that.

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“We want to keep playing and sticking to our principles and that’s what we’ll continue to do. That’s what we’ll always do.

“We have a clear plan and we just need a win to get back on the road and kick-on.”

Higgins admits that the last few weeks have been difficult but says he always knew tough times would arrive at some stage in the season.

Since his appointment just over a year ago the Candy Stripes have been on an almost constant upward trajectory. However, just recently his side have hit a dip in form though Higgins is quick to stress there’s still lots to look forward to in the coming months.

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The Brandywell men remain in second spot, seven points behind leaders, Shamrock Rovers and in July their European Conference League adventure will get underway so Higgins, while fully focused on the derby, is looking forward rather than back, though he acknowledges supporters will be hurting because of his side’s current run of form.

“It’s not easy but that’s life and whenever you go through tough periods in life, you have to dig in there and get out of it,” he insisted.

“When you go through tough periods in your profession, you do the same.

“No one ever said it would be a bed of roses so yeah this time was always going to come. You hope that it doesn’t but like every player, every member of staff, every coach and every manager, it does happen.

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Supporters are also going through it as well but, as I said, we just need to stay together, stick our chests out and crack on because the harder you work the luckier you get and hopefully we can get a wee bit of luck because I can assure you that people are working extremely hard here.

“We have a clear plan and aren’t going to deviate from it and, as I said you, if you analyse things over the last year we’ve made huge strides as a club.

“We have European football to look forward to and we’re in a healthy position in the league, so it’s not all doom and gloom.”

The Limavady man now wants the City supporters to continue backing their club and wants to see the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium packed for the derby against Finn Harps.

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Higgins, who’s pleased that the game against Ollie Horgan’s chargers has come so quickly after their defeat to Sligo Rovers, is calling on the Derry fans to stick together and hopes they don’t get frustrated as they cheer his team on.

“It’s obvious that you’re never delighted when you are going through a run of form that we have been,” explained Higgins. “But I think if you analyse over the 18 games, I can’t say that we had a load of performances that were under par. We have had a few but not many at all.

“The players have been brilliant. It has been a couple of weeks that have been difficult, but it hasn’t been a couple of months so we now need to try and snap out of it as quickly as we went into it.

“It’s a big game. It’s a game we’re really looking forward to and I’m delighted that it has come around so soon. We’re at home in front of hopefully a packed Brandywell.

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“Look, it’s easy when things aren’t going perfectly to get frustrated, annoyed and stuff like that but I think that now is a time when we all need to stick together.

“When everyone sticks together it’s easier to come out of difficult periods. If it’s fractured, then it’s tough to get out of it, so what we’re asking for is that our supporters really get behind the team and drive us on because the players feed off that energy.

“Yeah it’s a big game, there’s no doubt about that and one that we want to try and win and hopefully we can achieve that,” concluded the Derry boss.