DAVID McDaid could well find himself wrapped in cotton wool over the next few days, the diminutive Derry City hitman the only fit senior striker in the Brandywell squad at the moment!
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
And while Mark Farren will be given all the time necessary to be fit for the “Candy Stripes” visit to U.C.D.’s Belfield Bowl tonight (7.45 p.m.), it’s clear that the Brandywell side are struggling in the final third of the park.
That said. team boss, Declan Devine, is anxious to be involved in a decent FAI Cup run this season, therefore, the defeat of the ‘Students’ is paramount.
Rory Patterson has now been ruled out for at least another four to six weeks following the results of a recent scan on his hamstring while recent recruit, Conor Murphy, is cup-tied having been part of the Monaghan United team which ended the challenge of Cup holders, Sligo Rovers, in the last round.
Farren, who has a calf problem following his performance against Bohemians at the Brandywell last Friday night, is struggling to be fit but Devine is anxious to give the 30-year-old every chance.
And while the Greencastle man has also publicly signed a pre-contractural agreement with Irish League side, Glenavon, Devine insisted that he remained a Derry City player until October when he contract would expire.
“Mark remains a Derry City player and he’s fully aware of that fact. He signed a pre-contractural agreement with Glenavon which he is fully entitled to do, but he remains a Derry City player and I’m hopeful that he will continue to honour that and continue to score goals for us before the season ends,” said Devine.
“I intend to give him every opportunity to be fit for our FAI Cup third round tie against UCD on Friday night as we’re very short on experienced front players and given Mark’s hard-working performance against Bohemians last weekend, we certainly could be doing with his services,” added the Derry boss.
Having picked up a calf problem following last week’s game, Devine refused to rule the player out at this stage as he was anxious to have an experienced player leading the front line against UCD.
“Rory has tweaked his hamstring and we knew there would be a 30 per cent chance of that happening as he continued his rehabilitation. He trained for three days without any difficulty and then felt the hamstring.
“He will be out for at least another four weeks and with Conor (Murphy) cup-tied having played for Monaghan in the competition, we’ve got to look to other players to step up to the mark.
“Stephen McLaughlin has been a major plus for us this season and while we’re delighted to see him scoring goals on a regular basis, it’s important that the players are prepared to share the load.
“We’d like to see more goals coming from our midfield players who continue to do well. Players such as Ruaidhri Higgins, Barry Molloy and Owen Morrison all have goals in their lockers and we’d love to see those players add their names to the scoring charts.”
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