Derry City boss, Declan Devine, will welcome captain Kevin Deery back after suspension tomorrow night when his side travel to Hunky Dory’s Park to take on Drogheda United in the second leg of their Setanta Sports Cup quarter-final.
Devine’s men drew 1-1 at the Brandywell last Monday and with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs it’s easy to see why the Creggan born manager wants as many players available as possible.
“Kevin Deery is back for Monday’s game after serving a one match suspension - I feel that Kevin is a hugely important player for us and when he plays we don’t seem to lose too many games,” said Devine.
Derry lost their opening fixture of the Airtricity League Premier Division to Sligo Rovers at the Brandywell on Friday but despite emerging from the fixture with no points, Devine managed to find a few positives.
“I think we have goals in us and yes, we will have to tidy up on certain aspects but I am not pressing any panic buttons just yet,” said Devine after Friday’s defeat to the defending champions.
“I can’t emphasise this enough, tonight’s performance is not the worst I have ever seen. I thought a lot of the young players were out there trying to play the way we want them to play.”
Sligo took the lead in 30th minute through new signing Anthony Elding but despite their best efforts in the second half Derry could not find an equaliser.
“We had a lot of possession but we didn’t penetrate them enough. We had a couple of half chances but in hindsight we need to have more penetration in the final third and asking more questions of the opposition.
“But on the other hand, that’s the benchmark, Sligo are a very good side and that shows where we are, but we are disappointed to have lost 1-0.
“I think most teams will find it difficult to get to grips with Sligo. They have a lot of quality players and they have a good way of playing. They have players who are at the very top standard in terms of this country. We always knew tonight would be tough because we finished fifth last season and they were the winners.
“I am disappointed we didn’t get anything out of the game but it’s not doom and gloom by any stretch. We will dust ourselves down now because we have a big week next week.”
Derry lined out against Ian Baraclough’s men without influential central defender Stewart Greacen.
Although initial reports on the extent of Greacen’s injury are sketchy, it is believed he could require surgery on his knee and could be facing two months on the sidelines.
“Stewart has done a bit of damage to the cartilage in his knee and it’s looking like he will need an operation. He will be speaking to a surgeon later next week so we will know more then. He was in a tackle with Declan O’Brien during the game with Drogheda United at the Brandywell on Monday and it has cost us dearly, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it is not as serious as it possibly could be.”