Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins wary of 'well rested' Waterford
Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins feels that Waterford could go either into tonight’s clash at the RSC, ‘under cooked’ or they could be well rested and ready to go.
The FAI confirmed that Sligo Rovers have been awarded a 3-0 win over Waterford after the away side failed to fulfil their Premier Division fixture on May 15th following a COVID issue within the club.
Waterford decided not to face Liam Buckley’s side by fielding their U19 side, after the teenagers had suffered a heavy 7-0 home loss to Drogheda United the week before.
The Munster men, who also appointed ex-QPR first team coach Marc Bircham as their new manager, haven’t played in two weeks following a Covid issues and because of that Higgins is wary of this evening’s opponents.
“They haven’t played in two weeks and you could look at it two ways,” he stated. “Firstly they could be undercooked but then obviously they have had time to rest and recuperate.
“The new manager has gone in there and you know what it’s like when a new manager goes in, the team normally gets a bounce and we’re fully expecting them to come out of the traps on Friday night and we have to meet it head on.
“I’m sure he’ll come in with his own ideas and he has had a bit of time now to work on his plan to play against us, so if we don’t prepare properly then it could be a long night for us, but hopefully the lads are really focused and we can go there and get a positive result.
“Every transfer window is an opportunity for a manager to bring in his own players and I’m sure he’ll have contacts in England, but listen I can’t be too concerned about Waterford.”
Higgins’ side take on Waterford tonight aiming to follow-up last week’s battling display, which deservedly secured a point at champions, Shamrock Rovers.
Indeed Higgins believes that performance at Tallaght Stadium must now be the normal standard the players perform at.
“The boys have now set their own standards and anything less is not acceptable,” he insisted.
“We have to capitalise on last week’s performance and look to put in another good away performance.
“We know enough about them but we have to focus on ourselves and keep that momentum which we have gathered away from home.”
The Brandywell men travelled to Waterford yesterday and the Limavady native feels that his squad has enough players to hurt Bircham’s team or any side in the Premier Division.
“I feel we can hurt any team we play and Waterford are no different,” he explained. “We are also very aware that they have some good players as well and if we aren’t prepared properly then those players can hurt us, but we’ll approach this game the same way that we approach every game and that’s try to be as well prepared as possible and meet it head on and try to come away with three points.”
City will be without duo Danny Lafferty and David Parkhouse through suspension, while winger Marc Walsh is an injury concern.
“Danny Lafferty and David Parkhouse are both suspended and on the injury front Marc Walsh is 50/50,” he confirmed. “He is still having slight issues with his hamstring, which we are trying to get sorted, but everyone else is fine.”