RODDY Collins is seeking a major response from his playing staff in Drogheda tonight following last weekend’s horror show at the Brandywell. (7.45 p.m.)
And the Dubliner has also questioned the character of members of his panel having lost his first home league game last weekend.
Bitterly disappointed after the Cork City defeat, Collins also held the view that the praise earned at Shamrock Rovers and, indeed, the criticism levelled after the Cork match, were both “a bit over the top.”
He felt hisa side had drawn a game they should have won and lost a game they should have drawn.
“Reaction to the Rovers game was a bit over the top from a positive point of view but, then again, the reaction to the Cork game was also a bit over top on the negative front, so we have to balance the two,” insisted Collins.
“So now it’s all down to how you react. I can’t fault the effort or the honesty of the players, but I am disappointed for our supporters, the club directors and everyone associated with Derry City,” he added.
He refused to dwell on “circumstances beyond our control” but accepted the fact that efforts have been made to rectify the problem with condition of the playing surface.
“Now it’s all about how we react at United Park and, I have to admit, I’ve been disappointed at the reaction of some players in training this week,” continued Collins.
“Some players did react the right way, but others disappointed me by not reacting the way I expected and I’m starting to learn about them.
“We’re not going to win every game and, at the same time, we’re not going to lose every game but you have to learn from your results.
“So it’s been a tough week for me, the toughest I’ve experienced since I arrived.”
Given his disappointment with the attitude of some of his players, would that force changes in the team to face Drogheda United this evening?
His answer was not clear-cut.
“I intend to sleep on it, as I always do,” he answered.
“When you take a knock you never take a step back, you must always take a step forward- anyone who feels sorry for themselves will never be a champion, they will never win anything,” he maintained.
Looking forward to this evening’s game, Collins accepted the fact that he would face another battle in the tight confines of United Park.
“They are top of the league after two matches, so good luck to them, they’ve done well so far,” he noted.
“I’ve made a few enquires about their pitch and the word coming back is that it’s okay, so that’s a good start.
“They will deploy a strict 4-4-2 formation and battle for every ball, make no mistake about that.
“However, given our experience and the talent in the squad, we’re travelling to take three points , that’s the objective,” he concluded.
On the team front Barry McNamee (knee) and Jon-Paul McGovern ( not yet registered)will not be involved.
Ryan McBride took a heavy knock in training yesterday and is considered a doubt as is keeper, Gerard Doherty, who tweaked a hamstring.