EMMET Friars is expected to make his opening bow for Derry City in Drogheda tonight, the defender joining Shane McEleney in the heart of the ‘Candy Stripes’ defence due to the absence of injured centre-back, Stewart Greacen. (Kick-off: 7.45 p.m.)
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
And while Friars will discover little difficulty in adapting to a central defensive role, Eddie McCallion’s one match suspension will give team boss, Stephen Kenny, an additional headache.
Thomas McBride, who played a right-back during the recent friendly fixture against Institute will challenge for that position but it’s understood he has an ankle problem and returning captain, Kevin Deery, may well be asked to step in despite a lack of match practise.
Ruaidhri Higgins and James McClean will also miss the trip to Hunky Dorys park, the former still out with the thigh injury sustained against Sligo while McClean is expected to rejoin full training sessions this Monday having overcome a troublesome hip-flexer injury.
Confirming that Deery, Friars and McBride would be added to the squad, Kenny also has a worry over midfielder, Gareth McGlynn, who netted Derry’s first goal against UCD last weekend in Belfield.
“Gareth was ill before the UCD match but opted to play, however, he hasn’t training this week having picked up a virus so we’ll have to wait and see how he is on Friday. Michael McCrudden will be placed on standby,” confirmed the Dubliner.
“With Stewart, Eddie, Ruaidhri and James all definitely out, we will have to make a few changes but we’ll take confidence from last Friday night’s victory and the challenge is now to record back-to-back wins away from home which is a very good incentive,” added Kenny.
“We are investigating the possiblity of getting Stewart Greacen a light cast on his hand, but the Drogheda match has come too early for that. Eddie McCallion is suspended while Ruaidhri Higgins has not recovered from the thigh problem he picked up against Sligo.