​Derry City camp unmoved by St Patrick's Athletic media circus

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​RUAIDHRI Higgins believes the media circus surrounding the return to the League of Ireland of Stephen Kenny with St Patrick's Athletic hasn't disrupted Derry City's preparations for a significant fixture in Inchicore.

​​The former Ireland manager who also enjoyed two successful spells at Brandywell yesterday signed a five year contract with the 2023 FAI Cup winners having previously rebuffed approaches from Bohemians and Dundalk.

The powers that be at Richmond Park got their man after protracted negotiations and just in time for the visit of Derry tonight but his former chief scout and opposition analyst at both Ireland and Dundalk, Higgins, claims the high profile return to League of Ireland management of his mentor hasn't been factored into his team's preparations.

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“Not really, to be honest, not really. I've seen a real focus from the group this week about what we want to do, regardless of anything else.

Ruaidhrí Higgins, Derry City manager. Photograph: George SweeneyRuaidhrí Higgins, Derry City manager. Photograph: George Sweeney
Ruaidhrí Higgins, Derry City manager. Photograph: George Sweeney

"We want to go there and try and imprint our style on the game and get a big three points. We really liked how we finished the game against Bohemians and we want more of the same.

"Preparation-wise for us, it's spinning plates a wee bit, but we'll prepare the best way we can and try and make sure we're right. We’ll focus on ourselves and have a plan for whatever they throw at us.”

The Dubliners will be smarting from their 3-1 loss at Brandywell last month and an earlier 2-1 loss on Foyleside. The last time Derry visited Inchicore was way back in June last year when a patched-up team lost 4-1!

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Regardless of previous results this season and Pat's inconsistency, Higgins doesn't expect an easy night having watched the Saints clinch a 2-2 draw against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght in their last outing.

“Every team has shown a level of inconsistency, but you only have to look at their attacking options, for example. They're obviously good defenders as well, but they've got unbelievable talent.

"I have no doubt that before a ball was kicked this year they would have fancied their chances of winning the league.

"As I said, a couple of good results can catapult you right up the league. We're waiting for the league to settle, but you see Waterford have strung together three wins in a spin and they’re fourth or something like that. It just shows the nature of it. If you can find a level of consistency, I think that's the key.

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“We're away from home. We've had some good results down there, some not so good, but it's a ground I always really, really enjoyed. Really enjoyed. Good atmosphere. The crowd on top of you. Normally a really good pitch.

"The players should enjoy it and embrace it and go and play with personality.”

Buoyed by a 2-2 draw in Tallaght last weekend and with the new manager in place, Pat’s players will no doubt be out to impress.

“They played really well last week. They went behind twice and came back twice, so it shows they have a wee bit of character. It's a hard place to do that when you go behind in Tallaght.

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“But we've won three and drawn two of our last five, which is decent considering the league that we're in at this minute in time. We just want to keep that momentum going and try and pick up a big three points on a good pitch at a good venue,” concluded the Derry manager.