KENNY SHIELS is concerned that the unusual 3.00 p.m. kick-off time for tomorrow’s visit of Drogheda United will have a negative impact on the attendance at Maginn Park and has pleaded with Derry City fans to come out in force.
The City boss isn’t a fan of Saturday afternoon football as his team must battle with the English Premiership and other ‘social’ factors which, he feels, can have an adverse effect on the stadium turnout.
City have enjoyed two sell-out attendances for the opening two home games, the abandoned clash against Limerick and Monday night’s magnificent victory over champions Dundalk.
Shiels even credited the 1,600 strong support for their no small part in the sensational comeback against Dundalk and has pleaded with the ‘Brandywell Faithful’ to fill the terraces once again tomorrow and help motivate his players.
“I go to Irish League matches when I can on Saturday afternoons and there’s not the same passion coming from the stands” said Shiels. “I’m not being critical, it’s just what I feel.
“Is it because of the afternoon kick-off? I don’t know. I feel we are going to have to lift the whole energy around the stadium. We need the supporters to give us their normal support because there’s a lot going on on a Saturday afternoon in terms of this Holy Grail across the water (Premiership football) and people are going to play rugby or golf or whatever. “Saturday afternoon is a social time. It’s a sociable day and I’m worried about the environment about the place.
The supporters, the die-hards, we want them to come along and give us the same passion as they did on Monday nightKenny Shiels
“We have to create that ourselves,” he claimed. “The supporters, the die-hards, we want them to come along and give us the same passion as they did on Monday night. We need the crowd to support us and give us a lift again.
“If our crowd doesn’t turn up on Saturday , then it’s going to be difficult for us because of the youth that’s in our team.
“Young players get so much form the supporters. They draw from the passion which comes from the terraces. I’m pleading with them to come and lend their support.”