Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins praises Alan Reynolds impact
Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins says his new assistant, Alan Reynolds, has settled nicely into life back at the Brandywell.
The Waterford native, who was Stephen Kenny’s assistant manager in 2008, was appointed as Higgins’ right-hand man in December and the Derry manager feels the current Republic of Ireland U21 assistant will ensure everyone at the club raises their game.
Higgins, who is only in his second year of management, believes Reynolds’ experience and drive will mean players and even fellow coaching staff will all improve.
“Alan has been outstanding but I knew what I was getting to be fair,” insisted Higgins, “He has been excellent. The players and the staff have all taken to him. One thing about Alan is that it doesn’t take him long to settle because he’s not shy.
“But jokes aside, he has been brilliant and I’m delighted to have him. It’s fantastic for the club that we were able to get him on board. I spoke about it towards the end of the season, but having a good back-room team is unbelievably important.
“Everyone going in the one direction and pushing each other on to make us all better. The better staff you have around you the more scope you have to improve.
“We are going to demand the best from each other and push others to be the best they can be to try to move things forward and keep progressing the club in the right way.”
With the Candy Stripes facing Dundalk on the opening night of the 2022 SSE Airtricity Premier Division season on Friday, February 18th, Higgins is getting excited as the campaign draws closer.
With Derry beginning to play friendlies, the former Republic of Ireland opposition analyst coach says the opening night encounter at Oriel Park will come around very quickly and knows that his squad, who started pre-season training on January 3rd, will be glad to get some minutes into their legs.
“Once the games start then season will fly in,” explained Higgins, “I think the players are looking forward to the games because they have done a fair bit of physical work over the last couple of weeks.”
“I’m sure they’re looking forward to lining up and getting stripped out in their kits again and I’m sure we’ll be physically ready, because the players are in good shape.”
In recent weeks the Brandywell men have been linked with the likes of St Patrick’s Athletic winger Matty Smith, Aberdeen, Northern Ireland winger and former Derry favourite, Niall McGinn, and current Arsenal youngster Jordan McEneff, who is the younger brother of ex-City midfielder, Aaron, the latter currently plying his trade with Hearts in the SPL.
“I suppose if you throw enough darts you’ll hit one but a lot of the names flowing around is just nonsense talk,” said Higgins.
“As I said before, we would like to add one more but if we had to start the season tomorrow against Dundalk with what we have then I would be more than happy.
“Yes there are one or two players that we have a keen interest in, but we definitely won’t be in a panic to sign anyone because, as I said, we have a really settled squad due to the fact we have got our business done early which was brilliant. I’ll repeat it, if we had to start the season now with the squad I have, then I would be delighted.
“There isn’t anything imminent and we won’t just sign someone just for the sake of it as anyone coming in to Derry City has to be right for the club.”