I’m no quitter

Derry City manager Peter Hutton. (Picture Margaret McLaughlin)
Derry City manager Peter Hutton. (Picture Margaret McLaughlin)

PETER Hutton has absolutely no intention of vacating the Brandywell hotseat as the “Candy Stripes” travel to United Park this evening seeking a confidence boosting win.

And having failed to record a victory in his last seven league outings, Hutton remains confident that Derry City will make a sustained move back up the Premier Division table under his leadership.

“I’m not a quitter,” he answered when asked if he was considering his future given recent results.

“I’ve no intention of walking away as I believe in my own ability and in the ability of the squad.

“We’ve been decimated with injuries and suspensions to key personnel this season and with a small squad at our disposal, that’s certainly not ideal,” he added.

“Stephen Dooley has yet to kick a ball in earnest while Patrick McEleney, Barry McNamee and Philip Lowry have all missed games through injury.

“Ryan McBride and Mark Timlin have also faced periods of suspension, so we’ve struggled with numbers.

“However, I have always maintained that with a full complement of fit players, Derry City will resemble a totally different animal and while that probably sounds a bit like: ‘here he goes again,’there’s no getting away from the fact that we’ve struggled with a small squad.

“On occasions we’ve had to plan without four or even five key players - that’s almost half the team - and while I can understand the frustrations of our supporters, no-one is more frustrated than me,” maintained the team boss.

“It’s certainly not a nice position to be in and while I am fully aware that we are involved in a results business, the budget is small and we have to be realistic.

“However, that said, I would also be the first to admit that even with a small squad, Derry City really should be positioned much higher up the table and that’s the challenge which we are now facing.”

Having played in the 2003 promotion-relegation battle against near neighbours, Finn Harps, Hutton certainly did not wish to revisit such a scenario.

“If we can get our injured players back to full fitness and try to avoid suspensions, then I believe we will gain consistency and make a sustained move back up the table.

“I totally reject talk of relegation battles. Every game is tough in this league, but I’m confident things will get better for us.

“I also believe I am the man to continue leading this football club, I accept my share of the blame but it’s important that we remain united.

“I also believe it’s also very important that we remain positive and, hopefully, after the break with players back and available for selection, we will be in a position to kick on.

“Stephen Dooley and Patrick McEleney will be concentrating on continuing to improve their fitness levels over the next two weeks and I’m confident that one or two positive results will see us get back on track.

“Hopefully, come the opening of the Transfer Window next month, we may have one or two new faces joining us as we hope to finish the season in a positive frame of mind.”

Hutton also suggested that over the mid-season break, he would be assessing the overall quality of the squad.

“Some players really do need to step up to the plate. Some have been questioned and decisions will be made on their futures between now and July,” he claimed.