Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins wants attacking players to be ruthless and to take pressure on board

Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins cut a frustrated figure and not for the first time this season after his side failed to capitalise on a number of clear cut opportunities.

Derry City’s Michael Duffy skips in between Drogheda United defenders Keith Cowan (No 5) and Andrew Quinn.
Derry City’s Michael Duffy skips in between Drogheda United defenders Keith Cowan (No 5) and Andrew Quinn.

Higgins watched his team dominate Drogheda United but once again without collecting the three points as a combination of poor finishing and a tremendous Dayle Rooney free-kick earned the home side a share of the spoils.

The former Dundalk number two admits his players need to be more ruthless in front of goal and pointed to the examples of Lilywhites’ marksman Pat Hoban and Shamrock Rovers’ Ireland international, Graham Burke.

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“You look at the likes of Pat Hoban and Graham Burke who spring to mind as ‘killers’ because when they get a chance it hits the net,” remarked Higgins, “That’s why Dundalk and Rovers have been so successful for a number of years. We have players who are more than capable. It’s just having that belief and that drive to go and put your team in front.

“We need players chipping in from wide areas and midfield too. We’ve definitely got the quality all over the pitch to score goals but at the minute we’re just not taking our chances.

“We need to become more clinical and ruthless. If that’s pressure on attacking players then that’s pressure on attacking players, they have to deal with that, that’s their job.

“We’re not a million miles away but we need to be putting teams away when we’re having dominance in games but I seem to be repeating that quite a lot.”

The Limavady man is getting annoyed that draws have become a bit of a habit over recent weeks and feels if his team engineer a two goal lead, then there’s a high chance they’ll win.

“It’s becoming a bit of a habit that I don’t like. We should have been two or three up at half time. We didn’t take our opportunities and it was similar in the second half when we had good chances and haven’t put them away,” he said.

“Drogheda have had a 10-minute spell in the second half and scored from it and that’s disappointing because for the other 80-85 minutes we were the team in the ascendancy. It’s disappointing not to come away with the three points.

“We knew that one goal is never enough here. They have beaten Shamrock Rovers here and beaten Dundalk twice and they dug out a point against us earlier in the season so they are a tough nut to crack.

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"Without doubt, on chances created and possession and all those things, we should be leaving with the three points. It’s a tough one to take but we take it on the chin and we move on.”

The Derry boss feels his side needs to be more clever if they want to become real contenders.

“It was important that we came here and won and I do think we did enough to win the game,” he added.

“We have to be better, we have to be more streetwise. We have to be more ruthless. For us to elevate ourselves and become, real, real contenders, then we need to be putting that game to bed.

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“I can think of six or seven chances. We seem to need to create an awful amount of chances to score and we need to change that habit. You see Drogheda, they have created very little but they don’t need that amount of chances.”

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