Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins wary of Shelbourne

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins is expecting a tough test against Shelbourne and is asking both players and supporters to be patient tomorrow evening.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 6:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2022, 6:04 pm
Patrick McEleney will be hoping to get into the starting line-up for tomorrow night's game against Shelbourne. Picture by Kevin Morrison/Event Images & Video
Patrick McEleney will be hoping to get into the starting line-up for tomorrow night's game against Shelbourne. Picture by Kevin Morrison/Event Images & Video

Higgins, who watched Damien Duff’s men narrowly lose 2-1 at home to champions, Shamrock Rovers last Friday night, was quick to point out that the Dubliner’s have yet to suffer defeat on the road.

Indeed Grant Horton’s late equaliser for Bohemians remains the only goal Shels have conceded in their opening four away matches.

“One thing I would like to say, which people mightn’t realise is, Shelbourne haven’t yet lost away from home this year and they have also only conceded one goal on the road,” he insisted.

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“People who think they are turning up here on Friday night, whether that’s players or supporters, and it’s going to be straight forward, they can forget about that.

“This is going to be a game when there’s going to be patience needed from everyone in the ground. They are very well set-up defensively and, as I said, their form away from home has been outstanding.”

However Higgins admitted that his side are in a fantastic run of form and said he hopes they can stretch their winning run to seven games.

“It’s up to us to show an element of patience. If we get in front early, brilliant, but if not we just keep playing,” he added.

“They are a threat on the counter attack. We know their threats. We know what they are good at so we need to be prepared for that and respect that because, as I said, their away form is right up their in the league. That said, we are in good form and we just need to keep doing what we are doing.

“Hopefully if we do that we can pick up another massive three points but this is a very, very tough game and people need to realise that.”

Shels struggled for long periods of the first half against Stephen Bradley’s side but it was their performance early in the second half which impressed Higgins and highlighted their threat on the counter attack.

The Tolka Park men won possession inside their own half and five passes later Shane Farrell turned home Kameron Ledwidge’s left wing cross and that swift break is something which Higgins wants his players to be wary off.

“You saw their threat on the break with their goal against Shamrock Rovers,” he added. “They robbed possession, broke at pace up the left side and put in a brilliant cross which they scored from and that’s the threat they pose.

“One minute they are defending and then within eight or nine seconds it’s in the back of the net at the other end so, as I said, we need to patient from an attacking sense and keep moving the ball. Also, we need be ready when possession turns over that we recover back into position quickly because they’re a real threat on the break.”

The Brandywell boss says his squad will be similar to the one that secured victories on the road at Bohemians, UCD and Harps, with Patrick McEleney likely to be pushing for a place back in the starting line-up. The talented midfielder wasn’t used at Ballybofey, but Higgins revealed that was to protect the player.

“We’ll have the same squad available as we did for the Harps game,” concluded the Candy Stripes manager.

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