Derry City skipper Eoin Toal says there's no time for a pity party
IT WASN'T the ideal start to his Derry City captaincy but Eoin Toal believes the team must 'stick together' if they're to bounce back from Saturday's shock defeat in Longford.
The Armagh man doesn't want a pity party but rather a reaction from his teammates after the concession of two 'silly' goals and a disjointed display against the league's newly promoted outfit, Longford Town
A two week break in action due to the postponed Shamrock Rovers match gives Declan Devine and his team time to reflect on where they went wrong at Bishopsgate.
However, Toal knows a sluggish start set the tone against an exuberant Longford and he's determined to put that right against Waterford on April 3rd when Derry begin their home campaign.
"There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves," claimed the defender. "We'll go back to training and we need to stay together.
"There's a lot of games coming up and the lads will be looking to get in the team and improve. That's the main thing, keep working hard."
Devine pointed out his team were well versed on Longford's strengths when preparing for the opening match of the season. The City boss was expecting the home team to be biting at the heels of his players and burst out of the traps.
The concession of the eighth minute goal was a result of poor defending and Derry never fully recovered.
"We knew it was going to be tough but we gave away two silly goals and started off slowly," reflected Toal.
"We've got two weeks until our next game so we have a little bit of time to regroup. We just need to stick together. Games will come thick and fast and we need to stick together."
When asked if the team had properly gelled together yet, Toal refused to use that as an excuse for an out-of-sorts performance.
"We've been with each other for six weeks. We know we're a new team and it will take time to come together but there's no real excuses.
"We started off slow and there were two mistakes for the goals and that should be better.
"We knew they would come out fast and wouldn't lie down to us. They got off to a good start but I thought we had a couple of good chances from set pieces where we could have equalised.
"As the time went on, we weren't making any real clear cut chances. It wasn't to be today, hopefully it is in two weeks time.
"We want to win every game we play. We're playing for Derry City. It's a massive club. You don't go anywhere to get beat. We just started off slowly and made a few silly mistakes."
The City skipper had a couple of half chances from set-pieces, his best a header which was cleared off the line by Aaron Bolger in the first half.
This season Derry look to have an aerial presence and from some excellent Will Patching deliveries they could've capitalised on several occasions.
"We knew we could maybe get a few goals from set pieces as we're a big enough side. The luck just didn't fall to us tonight on another night it might."
"I wouldn't say there's necessarily a lot to work on but we have time to reflect and analyse where we went wrong and look forward to the next game. The games come thick and fast so we need to stick together and get three points on the board."
Toal was honoured to get the captain's armband but while his first game as skipper ended in defeat, he's determined to lift the spirits in the camp and bounce back at Brandywell in two weeks' time.
"It wasn't an ideal start for me but it's not about me, it's about the team and we need to stick together.
"I know it's the first game but we want to try and win every game we play. I'll try lift the lads. We haven't got time to feel sorry for ourselves. This should definitely give us a kick."