KENNY SHIELS believes the crucial point gained in Sligo will restore some much needed ‘inner belief’ as his Derry City side seek to get back on the winning trail.
The Candy Stripes had to contend with the arrival of new Bit O’Red boss, Gerard Lyttle who was paraded on the pitch prior to kick-off on Saturday evening.
His presence in the stands certainly gave the Sligo players a lift - not exactly what the doctor ordered for an out-of-sorts City side who came into the game on the back of four straight defeats.
Sligo’s top goalscorer, Kieran Sadlier was in sparkling form and his set-pieces were causing no end of problems for the City defence while he netted his fifth goal of the campaign with a blistering close range volley.
But Shiels was delighted with the character shown by his troops and was happy to accept a bit of fortune as his side arrested that alarming run of defeats.
“It gives us the inner belief to go on and start winning games,” he said. “Yes, we got the rub of the green for the goal but the boys showed good character during that period with good passages of play. We dominated the ball and fully deserved the goal.
It gives us the inner belief to go on and start winning games. Yes, we got the rub of the green for the goal but the boys showed good character during that period with good passages of play.Kenny Shiels
“It was a fortunate deflection but what about all the unfortunate deflections we’ve had like two of Bray’s three goals were deflected and there was lots of deflected goals against us this season. The two goals we conceded against Finn Harps were very lucky too - two deflected goals.
“But I think we were marginally better than them in terms of what we produced on the pitch,” he added. “But it’s good to get a point and get back on the scoreboard.”
Derry have failed to keep a clean sheet in five games but they restricted Sligo to just two shots on target and looked a lot more solid at the back. However, Shiels admitted defending of set-pieces remained a problem.
“They were causing us some problems with the set-plays because they are so big. It’s a weakness in our game - we’re just not big enough. It was threatening us a little bit but we were the better team and I don’t think there’s anyone who can say we weren’t.
“The new manager gave them a lift and when Rafa Cretaro came on it gave them a big lift as well in the second half.”
With three home games against Limerick (tonight), St Patrick’s Athletic (Friday) and Bohemians on May 5th, Shiels felt Saturday’s draw was a good starting point for his side.
“It’s a point to start building. We have to start thinking positively about the future and games coming up.
“Getting the goal will have given us a lift and on the balance of play we deserved at least a point. I’m happy we have a point. We would’ve wanted three, obviously, but didn’t get them.”
Sligo Rovers: Michael Schlingerman; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Leahy, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Gary Boylan; Liam Martin, Craig Roddan, Daniel Kearns (Rafa Cretaro 57) , Kieran Sadlier; Chris Kenny (Regan Donelon h-t), Jonah Ayunga; Subs Not Used- Shaun Patton, Paul Doyle, John Mahon, Mathew Stevens, Mark Hannon.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Conor McDermott, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis, Ben Doherty; Lukas Schubert (Barry McNamee 64) Harry Monaghan, Nicky Low, Mark Timlin (Mikhail Kennedy 84); Nathan Boyle, Ronan Curtis (Cathal Farren 79); Subs Not Used- Eric Grimes, Josh Daniels, Scott Whiteside, Alon Netzer.
Referee - Rob Rogers (Dublin).