DERRY City’s Philip Lowry admitted that Paul Hegarty’return the coaching staff has helped freshen things up around the Brandywell in recent weeks.
Since Hegarty came in as Peter Hutton’s number two, the ‘Candy Stripes’ have won three out of their last five games and Lowry feels his arrival has contributed significantly to Derry’s improved form.
“I obviously think the introduction of Paul Hegarty has been good for the whole camp, the atmosphere and everything has been improved,” he said.
“I also feel that there’s a realisation that players - myself included - weren’t doing enough before and that has made a difference as well. There has been nothing special changed, it’s just that people are now realising what their jobs and carrying them out.
“Everyone has been working hard and it has been paying off.”
The Limavady man was over the moon that City were able to recover from defeats to Dundalk and Sligo Rovers and book their place in the FAI Cup quarter-final following an empathic win over Drogheda United.
“It was important to bounce back after two disappointing results in the league and it was a welcome break having a cup tie,” he admitted.
“Having done well last year in the cup it was good to get a nice 3-0 win.
“It has been our problem this year that we have been unable to kill teams off, but once we got our second goal it was plain sailing. They looked a beaten outfit from then on.”
Lowry also held the view that Derry, who drew Cork City in the quarter-final, are starting to hit a bit of form with the season drawing to a close.
“We are hitting a bit of form at the right end of the season and to be honest, I don’t think any team likes playing Derry City, especially in a cup competition. Now we have hit a bit of form, we have to keep working hard for each other but we are happy enough, no matter who we face in the last eight.”
Unfortunately the 26-year-old will miss this Friday’s trip to St Patrick’s Athletic due to suspension, after getting sent-off for the first time in his career at Sligo Rovers, something which still annoys him.
“It was the first red card of my career and whenever it happened I knew that I had stood on the fella’s back, but anyone who knows my game knows I’m would never intentionally or maliciously injure anyone,” he added.
“To be honest I have watched it back and it does look fairly innocuous but I can see why the referee sent me off.
“Red cards have been a problem for us and I hold my hands up for it but it’s done now. I’m disappointed to miss the St Pat’s game, but I’ll hopefully come back stronger after that.”