DERRY CITY: No apologies for winning ugly as Low sets targets high
NICKY LOW insists he would gladly settle for winning ugly if it meant Derry City bring European football to the new Brandywell Stadium next season.
The Scottish midfielder was one of the few City players to emerge from the crushing 5-0 defeat to Bray last week with credit and he once again illustrated his importance to the side as he played a key role in seeing off a dogged Drogheda United on Friday night.
Despite a blistering start as Derry netted twice in the opening 14 minutes, it was never plain sailing against the Boynesiders who went down fighting.
City dug deep, battled against the conditions on a miserable wet and windy night and got the job done. They now sit one point behind third placed Shamrock Rovers with Europe within grasp.
The chance to play in the UEFA Europa League was one of the key factors behind Low’s decision to join Derry on loan from Dundee this season as he looked to reignite his career and it could prove a potential deal-maker when he begins talks with club at the end of the season.
While Low brushed off questions about his future with the club, he stressed the importance of finishing the job in terms of qualifying for Europe this season.
“We want to get Europe as it brings money into the club and you obviously get to play glamour ties,” said the Scotsman. “We played Midtjylland this summer and didn’t get great results but, for the young players in that changing room, it’s good experience. And obviously fans want to come if you draw someone big and the Brandywell will be ready.
“I’ve played a few times in Europe and it’s always nice. You look forward to them as a player. It’s a bit like the Scottish Cup back home - they are games you want to be involved in. You want to play the best teams. It could help (in enticing him to stay) but we’ll wait and see. It’s still early doors for that,” he smiled.
“We don’t want to finish fourth, we want third. The next four games we want to go and win as the last few weeks has been disappointing. Hopefully that win against Drogheda gives the boys confidence to go on and get four more wins,”
Low revealed the team held a team meeting on the Sunday following the 5-0 loss to Bray as the inquest began. And while he agreed with the criticism levelled at the team for the poor performance, he was full of praise for the way in which the players responded on Friday night.
“We got criticism last week and rightly so. I thought it was a really poor performance and we let Kenny (Shiels) and everyone associated with the club down. We had a meeting on Sunday and watched it back and there were a few words said between players which I think is really good.
“Sometimes, as players, you want to take control of situations. You don’t always want your manager shouting and balling but sometimes you need it. Last week we didn’t perform and we needed to put that right. When you cross that white line, managers can’t do anything. Last week as a team we didn’t keep the ball well, didn’t pass it or defend well. So we worked all week and we were solid as a unit this week.
“I’d rather be winning ugly than playing nice football and losing every week - that’s just the person I am. It’s nice to win and keep your fans happy if you’re playing well also.”
It was a vastly improved team display and Low was relieved to bounce back to winning ways after a run of four straight defeats in all competitions.
“It was nice to bounce back. Drogheda were fighting for their lives and we knew it was going to be a really tough game. I thought we played really well in the conditions as it was very windy and it was hard to play our normal game. If we were a bit more clinical in the final third the game would’ve been out of sight. It’s winning ugly but it’s three points which is all that matters.”