RORY PATTERSON believes Derry City’s impressive five game winning streak will go some way to shutting down the ‘keyboard warriors’ who had written the club off at the start of the season.
The City striker, who netted his third goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers on Saturday, wasn’t happy with the ever-growing sensationalist reaction to the club’s poor start by critics on social media.
And despite ‘hurting’ after the 6-1 thumping by Shamrock Rovers which condemned Derry to a third defeat in their opening four games, Patterson insists he always had faith the team would come good.
That defeat sparked a five game winning run in all competitions which has garnered 18 goals and three clean sheets as the Candy Stripes climbed to within a point of fourth placed Rovers with two games in hand.
The former Northern Ireland international who has been hugely effective in City’s turnaround in fortunes, providing both assists and goals, said it was always going to take time for Kenny Shiels’ new signings to blend but he feels the club now have the perfect formula for success.
“The last time we came down here (Sligo) we were in the early stages of trying to sort our team out but I think we’ve got the right mix in there now.
“Everybody knows their job now. Last time we were here, they have good players and can hurt you if you’re not organised and that’s what happened.
“But everyone has their role now down to a tee and we just have to keep going.
“We’ve had a lot of doom and gloom about and the keyboard warriors were out in force after Rovers. We had to dust ourselves down. There was nobody hurting more than the boys in the changing room after getting embarrassed like that.
“It just shows you the character within the team. And judging by the results now, we’re not as bad a team as people were making out.
“At the end of the day we’re bringing in 15 new players and Kenny (Shiels) isn’t a magician who can make everything gel together instantly. Pre-season was badly disrupted with the Brandywell not set up but now we have something in place and we know where we are every day.”
Patterson feels much more comfortable in City’s three pronged attack with Ronan Curtis and Ronan Hale in supporting roles from wide positions, forming a potent strike partnership which has fashioned 13 goals in 10 games.
“Earlier in the season I was probably a bit isolated playing up front myself with Ronan playing way out left. But once I had him playing closer to me and I had Ronan Curtis making runs. He’s a striker and is going to make those runs because he wants to score so it makes my job a lot easier.
“We’re actually playing as a three now and ‘Azza’ (Aaron McEneff) has added to his game going forward. I know if I can’t get the two Ronans in then ‘Azza’ isn’t going to be too far away.”
Patterson’s 17th minute opening goal at the Showgrounds on Saturday was his first against Sligo Rovers in 14 fixtures against the Bit O’Red. He saw a gap in the Sligo wall and his low drive took a deflection off the leg of an opposition player and found its way into the net.
The striker’s not one for statistics but he was delighted to get on the scoresheet for a second successive match.
“Azza likes to go high with his free-kicks and there was a gap there and it was on the side I like to hit. Nicky (Low) was there too who likes to place it but I knew where I was going to hit it and the boy stuck his leg out and it went in.
“Stats mean nothing to me but obviously when you’re playing up front you want to get goals whether it’s my first or my 20th, they all matter the same. Obviously it was an important one to get us going so as long as I’m scoring important goals I’m going to be happy.”