Derry City's Cameron McJannet happy to play Candy Stripes ‘bad guy’

Cameron McJannet says he relishes playing the pantomime villain in Derry City away games, a role he’s hoping to continue in tomorrow’s crucial clash at Sligo Rovers (KO 7.45pm).

By Kevin McLaughlin
Friday, 20th August 2021, 7:00 am
Derry City's Cameron McJannet celebrates scoring against Waterford. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI
Derry City's Cameron McJannet celebrates scoring against Waterford. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

The defender, who has made a happy habit of coming up with important goals this season, says the return of supporters has made even away fixtures more enjoyable, especially if he’s able frustrate home fans at both ends of the pitch!

Earlier this year, the centre-back’s brace in the closing stages at Bohemians stunned Dalymount Park, and he would love history to repeat itself in the Showgrounds this weekend.

“Fans being back makes a massive difference,” insisted the defender.

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“At home they get us fired up and even when we are under the cosh, they are there standing up and singing. That keeps you going more than an empty stadium.

“I don’t know if I speak for all the lads but I actually love playing away because there’s something satisfying about annoying a few hundred people and doing well against the odds.

“I do love an away day so yeah, hopefully it’s our fans who have reason to cheer at the weekend.”

Liam Buckley’s men are in the middle of a nightmare run, having lost their last six games, but McJannet says Derry are preparing for what could be the toughest game of the season as they target a fourth victory on the bounce.

“In a normal world they might be struggling with confidence but we’ve heard other teams say Sligo have been the best team they’ve played this season so they could get back to that type of form,” he added.

“We will go into the game with every respect for them, as if they are the best team we are going to play all season. We have to approach every game like that if we want to keep our run going and ensure we don’t lose the game because of attitude or anything like that.”

The 22-year-old, who only recently signed a contract extension, revealed it was some fine tuning amongst the squad has helped them secure three clean-sheets in a row.

“Defensively the whole team has been good but, yes, there were a few little details that we looked into and since then, we have looked more secure and safe and the clean-sheets have shown that, so long may that continue.

“It was a mix of everyone having their say, having some input. Obviously the manager brought up the little details he thought we could all improve on and since we have all come together and talked about it, the last three clean-sheets have shown those chats about the finer details have been working.”

McJannet knows a victory at the Showgrounds would put Derry in a strong position.

The Brandywell men would move above Bohemians into fourth spot on their own and just one point behind third placed Bit O’Red and while Buckley’s side would still have played two games less and The Gypsies would have three games in hand, points on the board would put the Candy Stripes right in the mix for a European place for next season.

City’s next two league outings are against Sligo and Bohs with a FAI Cup North West derby at Finn Harps sandwiched in between, so the next few weeks are going to play a big part in how Ruaidhri Higgins’ side finish the 2021 campaign, nevertheless McJannet is only focusing on tomorrow night’s clash.

“Look there’s no denying if we can manage to win on Saturday at Sligo then we are in the mix for that third/fourth spot,” he remarked.

“However look we all just have to keep level headed and keep taking it game by game and I think that’s all we can do at the minute.

“It’s a massive few weeks coming up for us as we have Sligo and Bohemians in the league in our next two games and they are third and fourth and we are joint fourth and then obviously sandwiched in between the league games we face Finn Harps in the cup, which we want to progress in so that we might have a chance to look forward too at the end of the season as well.

“So yeah it’s a massive few weeks, but we are all working hard and keeping our standards as high as possible to give us the best chance to keep winning.”

Having secured four victories on the bounce in all competitions and having defeated Sligo 1-0 in Higgins’ first game in charge way back in April, the ex-Stoke City starlet would love a similar result tomorrow evening.

“We are all obviously looking to keep the run going for as long as possible and as we have been to Sligo already this season and one we can use that for belief,” he added.

“I think even without that, the belief is growing in the team, so hopefully we can carry it on.”