'We need to be on top of our game to beat Finn Harps': Declan Devine

Derry City manager, Declan Devine.
Derry City manager, Declan Devine.

DERRY City boss , Declan Devine reckons his team will need to be at the top of their game to come away from Finn Park with three points on Friday night.

Harps are without a win from their opening seven league matches but Devine isn’t reading too much in the Donegal club’s form as he readies his team for a battle in Ballybofey.

“There’s going to be a big crowd at a difficult venue and we’re going to have to make sure we’re on top of our game if we’re to get anything from it.

“League form goes out the window when a north west derby happens,” he added. “They will be looking at this game as having the potential to get their season up and running.

“They’ve drawn with Dundalk down there and took Shamrock Rovers to the last two or three minutes. They were very unfortunate to lose to Cork having scored three against them at home.

“It’s a very difficult game, it’s a game we have to take on its merits. But we’ll have to be on top of our game if we want to take something from it.”

Derry have been training on the grass pitch at Clooney Park West this week in preparation for tonight’s derby clash but Devine expects the conditions to be extremely tough on a narrow, difficult surface.

“It’s going to be difficult, there’s no doubt about it. It’s renowned as a difficult venue throughout the league. When Derry go there, it’s even more difficult.”

However, Devine insists his side have the capabilities to mix it up when they need to and claims he’s devised a game-plan he feels will have success.

“We’ve watched them on numerous occasions and have a game-plan in place we feel we can get a bit of joy with. It’s about how good we can be with the ball.”

“Can we actually retain the ball well on a pitch which is very narrow and very difficult to play on at this time of the year? These games can throw up difficult situations. It’s how you deal with them.”