Devine relieved but not ‘high-fiving’

Michael Rafter scored the second of Derry City's two goals against Bray Wanderers at the Brandywell on Friday.
Michael Rafter scored the second of Derry City's two goals against Bray Wanderers at the Brandywell on Friday.

A relieved Declan Devine praised his team’s win over Bray Wanderers at the Brandywell on Friday but the Derry boss insisted they “aren’t jumping about celebrating”.

Derry recorded their first league win at the Brandywell since June 28 when they beat Bray 2-0 on Friday evening, a win Devine described as “big”.

“It was a big win for us, but we aren’t jumping about celebrating or anything like that,” he said moments after the final whistle.

“There’ll be no high fiving one another or anything like that tonight because now we have to make sure we go to Bohemians next week and get another three points.”

Goals from David McDaid and Michael Rafter provided Derry with three invaluable points and the win over the Seagulls keeps alive their dream of competing in Europe next season.

“The players and the staff at the club have been bitterly disappointed at the criticism and stick we have had to take over the last few weeks but to a certain extent the recent run of results and defeats just haven’t been good enough so it’s nice to get back to winning ways,” added Devine.

“It’s three points, it’s a clean sheet and it’s a couple of goals - I think you could sense we wanted to win the game from the outset tonight. We set-up an attack minded team and we wanted to win the game and thankfully that’s what we did.”

Although Derry took the lead in the fifth minute, Bray went on to dominate in the first half but a change of tactics early on in the second period paid off as the Candy Stripes ran out worthy winners.

“I think we started to boss the game when we changed up our tactics towards the start of the second half. They have a lot of attacking players in their ranks and I have been saying for weeks about how I feel it’s important that we defend properly and I feel we did just that tonight.”

He continued: “They had a couple of half chances and Gerard [Doherty - Derry City goalkeeper] made two good saves in the first half. We had three or four chances we didn’t take. I am just delighted for the players because they worked very hard tonight. We are missing six or seven players but I think you saw a high level of commitment tonight.”

Next up for Derry City is Bohemians at Dalymount Park next Friday evening. With six games left to play before the season finishes, Devine believes there is still plenty of points up for grabs.

“We have to learn from our mistakes - I felt Ryan Curran, Michael Duffy and Davy McDaid ran themselves into the ground tonight. We have taken nine points off Bray this year - it’s very difficult to beat a team three times. We had a lot of big shifts out there tonight but we have to concentrate on Bohemians next week.

“I still believe that there is a lot to play for this year. There are a lot of talented players in the changing room. We have a lot of players who didn’t start tonight - other teams would love to have players like that in their team. As great as it is to win, we have to forget about it now and go to Dalymount next week and get another win.”