RORY Patterson and Shane McEleney WILL be playing for Derry City tonight when they line-out with the club’s Ulster Senior League side in the picturesque Co. Donegal village of Drumkeen.
And having dropped both players for last Monday’s visit of Limerick, Brandywell boss, Roddy Collins, insists that there hasn’t been a fall-out.
When questioned on his decision to face UCD tonight at the Lone Moor Road venue without last year’s top marksman, Collins stood by his decision.
“Rory’s not involved because we are not in a situation, at this moment in time, to have just an out-and-out finisher in the front line,” he answered.
“And while that may sound silly, until we start creating loads of scoring chances - which we will - when that happens that’s when I will consider using Rory to spearhead our attack,” added the Dubliner.
“And let me also make it clear that there’s been no falling out with me and Rory. He will be involved with our Ulster Senior League side on Friday night against Drumkeen and he should get plenty of scoring chances in that game as we have a decent young team in that league.
“Rory must wait until we have things correct on the pitch. When you are building a team everyone must work hard and it’s not in Rory’s make-up to work off the ball.
“Of course I appreciate that he’s a top finisher, but if we are not creating, then there’s nothing to finish so what’s the point in wasting a player when I can get so much work out of someone else - a player who will be attempting to get the ball back for us when we lose possession?” questioned Collins.
“If we had been creating 10 scoring chances in every game we played, I can assure you that Rory Patterson would not be sitting in the stand or playing in the Ulster Senior League and that’s for certain.”
Collins’ priority was not to lose games.
“For any new manager, the priority has to be not losing games but I believe we’ve now got that sorted.
“We’ve lost two matches in nine. Now comes the next step, you attempt to win games but in the meantime you’ve got to sort out the personnel that’s going to do that and that’s what I am doing. It will be my judgement as manager,” he continued.
When questioned on rumours relating to difficulties surrounding Shane McEleney, Collins made no apologies.
“Shane played against Athlone in a central defensive role, against a team that’s clearly struggling. In my opinion he was very loose in his defending and he knows that.
“When used in Bray to play inmidfield his concentration levels were very poor. So until we get to a situation where we will be dominating games, only then can I afford to use a player who is going to switch off now and again so Shane will have to get his concentration levels sorted out,” he said.