Derry City need 're-energised' says Ruaidhri Higgins as summer transfer window opens on Friday
Ruaidhri Higgins admits his Derry City squad needs 're-energised' as the Brandywell club prepares for a hectic schedule both in Europe and domestically.
The summer transfer window opens on Friday, July 1st next but the Derry manager isn't exactly finding it plain-sailing when it comes to securing his targets.
It's a notoriously difficult window to do business in and Higgins admits 'it's easier said than done' when attempting to attract players who meet the club's requirements.
Derry's next league fixture is against Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday, the day the window opens, but Higgins insists it's unlikely the Candy Stripes will have bolstered their options significantly by the time that match comes around.
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During Higgins' first season in charge at Brandywell, he brought in THREE new players during the July window but just one of those was on a permanent deal with Jamie McGonigle signing a long term contract. Bastien Hery and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe both joined on six month loan moves and left at the end of the 2021 campaign.
City were missing FIVE senior players for last Friday's crucial 1-0 win over UCD at Belfield with teenagers Orrin McLaughlin (19), Daithi McCallion (17) and Liam Mullan (18) amongst the seven outfield substitutes.
Injuries to Michael Duffy, Ciaron Harkin, Ronan Boyce, Eoin Toal and Cameron Dummigan have weakened Higgins' hand as City go into a crucial stage of the season and Higgins agrees that reinforcements are badly needed.
”I think we need re-energised but it’s easier said than done, believe me," he said. “You identify targets and think you have them and all of a sudden something else happens and they go off elsewhere.”
Whether UCD’s Liam Kerrigan, omitted from Friday's squad, was one of those targets matters little after the Ireland U21 winger signed for Serie B side Como, continuing the growing trend of young Irish players moving to Italian clubs or to other European countries.
“Listen we want to bring in a couple but it’s easier said than done," added the Derry supremo. "Last year was the exact same. Jamie McGonigle was permanent and we had two loans. It’s a difficult window. So we’re trying and constantly in contact with people. The players need more help and were trying to do that.
"We've come here (to UCD) without five senior players. We probably have 17 or 18 senior players and five of them were unavailable today. It's difficult. And it's the quality that we're missing. They are big big players for us. But the lads tonight stuck together, dug in and dug out a win we badly needed."