DERRY CITY: Seven steps to Europe

Derry City midfielder Barry McNamee.
Derry City midfielder Barry McNamee.

Barry McNamee claims Derry City must finish the season strongly if they are to secure European football for next season’s return to Brandywell Stadium.

But after more than three week’s without a competitive fixture, the Ramelton man said every one of the squad is anxious to get back to action this Friday against Galway United

They are fighting for their lives but we obviously need to get the three points to build a bit of a momentum going into the rest of the season, it’s going to be a good battle.

Barry McNamee

“It’s important for the club to be in Europe, so it’s up to us now - starting on Friday night in Galway - to try and make that happen,” he insisted.

“You never get an easy game against Galway, even when we played them at Maginn Park it wasn’t easy and to go down there itself will be hard.

“They are fighting for their lives but we obviously need to get the three points to build a bit of a momentum going into the rest of the season. It’s going to be a good battle.

“As I said, it isn’t going to be an easy game but there are no easy games from here on in. All the teams we are playing are fighting for their lives, so everyone is going to be putting it up to us. We just have to prepare properly for each game.”

City haven’t played since their heavy 4-0 drubbing to Dundalk way back in August 20th but McNamee believes that loss is now well out of their heads.

“I thought in the first game at Dundalk we just fell apart at the end, but in the second game at Maginn, we were blown away in the first half.

“We talked about it in the changing room at half-time. It was really just a damage limitation, there are no two ways about it. We just weren’t good enough on the day,” he stated.

“We didn’t start right but we have put that on the back burner now. The Dundalk game is behind us and we want to finish strongly.

“Make no mistake about it, it’s going to be a battle this week because they (Galway) are in trouble as well.

“We know they are a good side, they like to get down and play as well. We know it’s going to be a very tough game so that’s what we are preparing for.

“It has been three or four weeks (since we played), so it’s all out of our heads now and we have a big seven games to go, starting at Galway.”

The midfielder feels a strong finish will help boss Kenny Shiels in his attempts to re-sign the likes of Aaron Barry, Darren Cole, Nathan Boyle, Nicky Low and Lukas Schubert.

“We finished the season great last year to clinch third and this year is the same,” he said.

“Yes, you aren’t going to keep everyone here next year and stuff like that but you don’t want to be sitting thinking through the off season that we didn’t even qualify for Europe or ‘We let ourselves down in the seven games’.”

The 25-year-old has enjoyed one of his most prolific seasons with the Candy Stripes, scoring 10 goals, although he stresses his only focus is on the team winning and doing well in their remaining seven games.

“If I get a few more goals I will be over the moon, but at the end of the day, it’s not worth anything if you don’t get the three points,” he confirmed.

“Whatever I have to do to help the team, that’s what I’ll be trying to do and I’m sure everybody is in the same position at the minute.

“There’s no one in our dressing room who is looking for individual praise because it’s no good if you are getting beat every week.

“We need to just get together now as a team, train well all week and see how we get on at Galway.”