KENNY SHIELS believes his current Derry City squad has already shown there’s life without the attacking threat of last season’s ‘big four’ and he’s backed his new-look frontline to bring some attacking flair to Brandywell tonight.
Former ‘Candy Stripes’, Patrick McEleney (Dundalk) and Mark Timlin (St Pat’s), have already registered their first goals for their respective clubs this season while Stephen Dooley has made a steady start to his Cork City career.
People might look at us as not being of that top standard but we’re going to prove to the supporters this year that we are of that standard.Kenny Shiels
Philip Lowry has balanced his work life in London with a part-time role with Irish League club, Portadown, this season and the departure of those four attack-minded players was a major close season concern for Derry City supporters.
However, Shiels, who admits he had concerns himself about how to replace that firepower, is delighted with the manner in which those who remained, or returned, to Brandywell, have stepped up to the plate during the opening three games.
Rory Patterson has netted three times already in his second spell at the club, his double in Bray on Monday night taking his Derry City total to an impressive 64 goals.
He’s been ably supported by Barry McNamee, Gareth McGlynn and Ronan Curtis - who netted the winner against Cork last weekend - to form a formidable foursome.
And Shiels is hoping the quartet prove too-hot-to-handle once again against an in-form Galway United tonight as City seek a third win on the bounce.
“Everybody’s talking about the departure of top players,” said the Derry boss. “You look at the big four we lost from last year: Patrick McEleney, Mark Timlin, Stephen Dooley and Philip Lowry.
“People believe we won’t achieve by losing players like those four but we’re out to prove to people that we can fill that void from within with young players and with experienced players like Rory Patterson. That’s in my thoughts every time I put the team out.
“We’ve got players in our team that have stepped up as a result of those players leaving. People might look at us as not being of that top standard but we’re going to prove to the supporters this year that we are of that standard.
“We have got people like Barry McNamee, Rory Patterson, Gareth McGlynn and Ronan Curtis who have stepped up to the plate. The four attacking players we have at the moment have certainly stepped up and are major contributors to how we play and we have to keep working on that.”