Derry City haven't seen the best of me insists Danny Mullen

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​DANNY Mullen insists Derry City fans have yet to see the best of him and believes the arrival of fellow striker Pat Hoban from Dundalk will help raise his game.

The 28 year-old former Partick Thistle striker netted three goals in nine starts last season after joining at the beginning of July but he expects to play a much bigger role in the Brandywell club's season this year.

He's set up home in Derry with his partner, Kelsey Crawford, and their four year-old daughter, Sophia, and feels like he's finally got his feet under the mat at the club as the frontman looks ahead to a promising campaign with the Candy Stripes.

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And with a full pre-season behind him and a better knowledge of the League of Ireland and opposition defences, he's confident Derry fans will see a better version of him this term.

"There's more to come from me," promised the striker who played 45 minutes of Sunday's 2-2 draw with Finn Harps at Ballybofey, "Getting a full pre-season under my belt will be a huge difference. I'll be a lot fitter.

"I scored three goals last season and I obviously want to do better this year and have a full season under my belt. So I'll hope to get into double figures as soon as possible and push on from there.

"There's definitely more to come from me. I think you could see last season I was playing well but goals weren't coming as often as I'd like. That's my real focus this year, to go and score as many as I can for the team.

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"We've settled down nicely and we have our house which we've been moving into," explained Mullen who signed an 18 month contract last summer.

Derry City striker Danny Mullen takes on the Finn Harps defence during Sunday's friendly with Finn Harps. (Photo: Kevin Moore/MCI)Derry City striker Danny Mullen takes on the Finn Harps defence during Sunday's friendly with Finn Harps. (Photo: Kevin Moore/MCI)
Derry City striker Danny Mullen takes on the Finn Harps defence during Sunday's friendly with Finn Harps. (Photo: Kevin Moore/MCI)

"Hopefully everything goes plain-sailing this year. It will be a tough year and we're going to set our standards high. We know what we want as a club and individually as well so hopefully we can hit the ground running."

Jamie McGonigle and Cian Kavanagh's respective departures left Mullen as the only fit senior striker in the squad until the arrival of Hoban last week and with Colm Whelan on schedule with his recovery from an ACL, the Scotsman is relishing the competition which he feels will keep everyone on their toes.

"The competition will be high and will push everyone to be at their best this season. There will be competition for places which will benefit the whole squad.

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"You always need options and it's good to have competition there. It always pushes you to try and stay in the team when you're in the team and try and score more goals as a striker.

"He's (Ruaidhri Higgins) brought quality in and we have a really good squad all pushing in the one direction. As I said last year, the boys are great and there's nobody spitting their dummy out if they're not playing so it's a good squad we've got.

"We're all in it together and will try to get the best out of each other. Pre-season is tough but it's good to be back and really pushing ourselves because we've got a big season coming up.

"Hopefully I can get some more goals and gain a bit more confidence which will help the club get to where we want to get to."

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With the arrival of Daniel Kelly from Dundalk there promises to be plenty of supply for whoever leads the line and Mullen is hoping he can benefit from Derry's enviable attacking options.

"Last year the goals I scored came from crosses into the box and my movement in the box. That's my biggest asset, my movement in the box and getting on the end of things. With Daniel Kelly coming in it will be another option for us.

"We've been getting to know each other in training and how we play and there will be loads of good options. So everything is looking good at the moment. Hopefully we get a strong pre-season in and link up well and we'll get used to each other over the friendlies. It's exciting times ahead for us."

Exciting times for sure and Mullen didn't mix his words when asked what the targets for the 2024 campaign were.

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"There's no hiding the fact we want to go one better than we did last year and go and win the league this year. All our targets are set high this year and if we can perform well then I don't think we'll be far off it."