Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins says his attacking players have 'got their mojo back'

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RUAIDHRI Higgins is delighted his attacking players have 'got their mojo back' and helped return Derry City to the top of the table after a four goal haul over basement club UCD.

The emphatic win - which sent them one point clear of Shamrock Rovers who fell to a shock 2-1 loss at home to Drogheda - concluded a magnificent week where Derry rediscovered the goalscoring touch.

It took their tally for the past seven days to eight goals, including three against Dundalk last Monday night on Foyleside.

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Michael Duffy's explosive attacking play has been instrumental to Derry's resurgent form and the winger netted a fantastic second half brace and also set up the in-form Jordan McEneff for his opening header after just 13 minutes.

McEneff's goal took his own personal scoring total to six goals from just nine starts and Derry were certainly looking back to their attacking best on the night.

Matty Ward came off the bench to add a fourth from close range late on but it could've been a much bigger margin as goalkeeper Kian Moore denied Will Patching's long distance effort while McEneff struck the post and wasted an almost carbon copy of his goal against Dundalk.

It's four wins on the bounce and six from the past seven matches which has sent them top of the pack after 17 fixtures.

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"We could've had more tonight," said Higgins afterwards. "We created a lot of chances. Our attacking players are starting to get their mojo back and we look like we're going from strength to strength and it's brilliant."

Jordan McEneff nets his sixth goal of the season with this close range header in the first against UCD. Photograph by Kevin MooreJordan McEneff nets his sixth goal of the season with this close range header in the first against UCD. Photograph by Kevin Moore
Jordan McEneff nets his sixth goal of the season with this close range header in the first against UCD. Photograph by Kevin Moore

Higgins was delighted to see star man, Duffy in 'full flight' for his two goals the City boss described as 'Mickey Duffy goals'.

"For someone who has missed nine or 10 games it's a really good return. He's brilliant, really exciting and looks like he's getting fitter every game. It's great to see Mickey in full flight.

"Both goals are Mickey Duffy goals. One-two with Patching and the one where he runs beyond and somehow manages to put it away, brilliant goals so I'm delighted with him to be honest."

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After the 2-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers at Brandywell earlier in the month, Derry has shown tremendous character to bounce back and Higgins reckons his players have answered ‘emphatically’ anyone doubting their ability to challenge Rovers.

"A month's a really long time in football. It was doom and gloom and the end of the world a month ago but we channelled that negativity around into positive and we've bounced back lovely, taking 12 points from 12.

"Sometimes when there's a lot of negativity around it's great to turn it into a positive and show people. The players to a man have been absolutely outstanding since preseason but particularly over the last period of time when there's been questions asked of them and they've answered them emphatically.

"There's going to be setbacks as the season goes on. We're prepared for any setbacks because we know we can recover quicker than we did last year. "