KENNY SHIELS is hoping ex-Derry City midfielder, Barry McNamee isn’t subjected to a hostile reception from the ‘Brandywell Faithful’ tonight as he rolls into town with the Leesiders.
The Ramelton lad is in terrific form for the league leaders and is poised to make his first appearance at the newly refurbished Brandywell Stadium in a Cork team which also boasts former Candy Stripes, Conor McCormack and Aaron Barry.
Shiels described the Donegal man as a ‘poet laureate’ last season and he believes McNamee deserves nothing but praise given his terrific service to the club where he made in excess of 150 appearances.
“Barry is a great player and a great lad too,” said Shiels. “He’s served this club really well and I have nothing but praise for him. He’s obviously going to be a threat because he played so well for me so I know that. That happens. Michael Duffy has come back to do well against us. Patrick McEleney, Stephen Dooley - there’s no reason why Barry won’t be the same. Aaron Barry as well.
“There’s a lot of players in teams in the upper echelons of the league who have former Derry City players. The supporters will get a bit of spice from that but Barry’s a strong lad mentally and that won’t affect him in any way.
“It’s only natural that supporters will do that and Barry, I’m sure, is expecting that. I don’t think he deserves it because he’s been a really good servant here and I have nothing but respect for Barry because he’s done so well for this club. We’re just disappointed we lost him but that’s how it goes in football.”
Meanwhile, in-form midfielder, Nicky Low is rated a doubt for tonight’s crunch clash with the champions.
The Scotsman, who has netted twice in his last two matches, sat out training yesterday evening and could miss tonight’s match with a niggle and also with Monday night’s clash against Dundalk in mind.
“We’re not full strength but we’re raring to go and we’ll be doing everything we can to win the game.
“They’re one of the big fish and they know how to manage their games. They certainly will be a hard team to play against.”