EOGHAN STOKES believes victory at his former club, Bohemians, tonight could ignite Derry City’s season. (k.o. 7.45p.m.)
The versatile Dubliner spent last season at Dalymount Park and he’s relishing a return as he bids to reclaim a starting berth in Declan Devine’s in-form side in the absence of the injured Michael McCrudden.
Stokes, who was part of the Bohs team who knocked City out of the FAI Cup last season at Brandywell, has made an instant impact to his Derry career, scoring on his debut against UCD and forcing the Students into a mistake for another which he is keen to claim as his own.
He sustained a toe injury in the 2-0 defeat in Tallaght, missing out in the win at Waterford before making a comeback for the final half hour of the scoreless draw in Cork.
Now he insists he’s back firing on all cylinders and is desperate to play his part as Derry look to end Bohemians’ impressive start to the campaign which sees them level on points with Shamrock Rovers at the business end of the table.
Stokes admits the Brandywell club has ‘high expectations’ this season and believes tonight’s match could be a defining moment even at this early stage.
“There’s a great atmosphere in the dressing room at the minute and we have a chance to go top of Friday,” said Stokes. “And if we do, we could kick on from there, you never know.
“We’ll take every game as it comes but we do have high expectations for ourselves within the group and hopefully we can keep going the way we have been because performances have been good.
“I think winning in Dublin can be the start of our campaign. We could start winning games and finish at the right end of the table.
“Hopefully Derry can make amends for the last two losses in the league up at Brandywell and in the Cup quarter-final.
“We’ve had two good results in a week. We are a young group and we’re getting to know each other more every day which is benefiting us, so hopefully things will get even better.”