Stephen O’Donnell’s men currently sit seven points behind the Candy Stripes and 11 adrift of leaders, Shamrock Rovers, but have played a game less than the top two and Higgins is expecting the Lilywhites to come to Foyleside aiming for a positive result.
Dundalk will be hoping experienced players such as Brian Gartland, Robbie Benson, Daniel Kelly, David McMillan and Pat Hoban will bring their best tomorrow evening.
“Internally they’ll be saying that they’ll want to be challenging ourselves and Shamrock Rovers and they’ll be delighted that no one is talking about them, but I find that strange when you look at their squad,” insisted Higgins.
“They have league winners, players who have played 100 of games in England; there are cup winners and league winners on their bench so whatever they have done there they have done it well because they have stayed under the radar.”
The Derry boss has been pleased by his side’s last two performances and says he would love a similar display this evening though he admitted they need to be more clinical in the final third.
The Candy Stripes dominated for long periods at Tallaght last Friday evening and again in their home match against the Saints, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net despite creating a host of clear cut openings.
Even though they only picked up a point from those two games, Higgins was more than pleased with how his team played and he wants them to keep believing in what they are doing.
“To be honest the two St Pat’s games were as good as we’ve played this year, they were exceptional,” he explained. “But we just didn’t put the ball in the net here at the Brandywell.
“Then we went to Tallaght and for 70 minutes we were absolutely outstanding and when you watch it back, it confirms it even more.
“I think they were maybe shocked at how much in control we had for periods. That gives us great belief and great hope but ultimately you have to turn your dominance into goals and points and we haven’t done that in our last couple of games. Previous to that we were on an outstanding run and we aim to get back to that.
“Look it’s going to be a very, very difficult task but we go into every game to try and win it and Friday night will be no different.”
Down the years there has been some quality battles between tonight’s opponents and Higgins is expecting another ding-dong battle.
“It’s a tasty game and one that we’re looking forward to. We know they’ll come here with a plan and it’s up to us to try and execute what we’re trying to do and win the game,” he added.
“We have to be ready and meet them head on. We have to maintain our performance levels and be more clinical when opportunities present themselves.
“We know we’re on the right track and we’re getting better as a team. The players have been absolutely brilliant but we just need to convert our performances into points which we have done previously until the last few games.”
City will again be without Patrick McEleney with a hamstring problem but on the plus side Jack Malone returns to the squad though Cameron McJannet remains an injury doubt.
“Obviously Patrick is out, but he should hopefully be back after this week’s fixtures. Cameron McJannet still remains a doubt, but we’ll see closer to kick-off about him, but Jack Malone returns to the squad and everyone else is fine.”