KENNY SHIELS believes he’s done enough during his time as Derry City manager to warrant another season at the helm.
The Maghera man goes into tonight’s final match of the season against St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park with the club languishing in seventh place in the league.
The pressure is mounting on the City boss following Monday night’s defeat to relegated Bray Wanderers - a 19th defeat of a disastrous league campaign.
However, he believes he deserves another chance next season as he bids to build a competitive Derry City team having won the EA Sports Cup this season and qualified for European football in his first two campaigns.
“It’s the last match of the season as far as I’m concerned,” he said when asked if he felt it would be his last as Derry City boss. “I just want to improve the product next year - that’s what I’m going to do to the best of my ability until I’m told otherwise.
“The manager’s shelve life is not a long one but I think I’ve done enough in my first two years. We’ve developed, I don’t know how many, international players during that period. I’ve brought in a lot of good footballers. I think it would only be fair that I got a chance to get a good crack at it next season.”
Shiels, who has another year to run on his current deal, agrees that it’s been a disappointing league campaign and he understands the fans’ frustrations. However, he believes he can turn fortunes around in 2019 should he be afforded the time by the Derry City board.
“I want to build a team that is competitive. I’m going to rebuild again and get a team to compete. There’s loads of Irish League layers I’d like to get but can’t get them until July. And we’re losing players to the Irish League. I can’t force people to come but I can work hard in trying to convince them that we have a good product and will continue to do that.
“We’ve had poor league performances and poor league outcomes and I’m disappointed in the league.
“I have to say, it’s been hard for the players, the negativity that surrounds results when its not going your way. It’s only human nature that there’d be frustrations from the supporters which I appreciate.”
Turning his attentions to tonight’s trip to Dublin and the meeting with St Pat’s who have recently appointed Harry Kenny as manager.
And Shiels expects to meet a Saints side determined to impress their new boss.
“I think it’s a very good appointment, the players will be doing all they can to get new contracts from the new manager and that will have a ‘positive influence as far as Pat’s are concerned.”
The City boss wants to finish a forgettable league campaign on a winning note.
“We always try and win. We’ve scored more than 80 goals this season. Alright, on the league front it hasn’t been a great season but in the cups we’ve done well.
“We would just like to finish for the players and the supporters who travel, I’d like to finish on a high if we can.”