Derry City's Ciaran Coll feels Nathan Gartside has been outstanding this season
Defender Ciaran Coll has heaped praise on Derry City's number one Nathan Gartside, after their deserved narrow win at Waterford.
It was City's second clean-sheet of the season and Coll believes the 23-year-old deserves a huge amount of credit for coming into the team this campaign and has really started to produce the goods.
"As a defender you always want a clean-sheet and I think we have to give Nathan big credit there as well," he insisted.
"He never really got a game last year, so what he has done this year and now that he has stepped up, it has been unbelievable. He's doing a real professional job and to be honest it's incredible.
"As I said he didn't get many minutes last year and he has been outstanding coming straight into the team this season."
Derry host St Patrick's Athletic tonight and the ex-Finn Harps man really wants to start putting things right at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium and concedes that the small number of supporters who cheer the team on from outside the ground are helping the side.
“Monday night is a massive game," he explained. "We are home and as a group we have said that we need to make sure that on our own patch, no matter who we are playing, we have to beat them at home.
“It’s our home patch and we have to make it as hard as possible for every side.
“In our recent home game against Dundalk, we had some fans standing behind the net outside the ground and they get us that wee bit of boost and if they’re there on Monday night, I know it will push us on.
“Look if we can get another two positive results this week, then we’ll enjoy our break more.
“To be honest it’s similar to the journey home from Waterford, we got a win, everyone worked hard and we were all delighted going back up the road.”
After the Saints test this evening, Derry travel to in-form Drogheda United in the final game before the mid-season break and Coll admits two positive results this week would be perfect.
“Look nine points from this week would be massive,” acknowledged the 29-year-old.
“To be honest we aren’t going to look too far ahead, we are going to look at the St Pat’s game first and then we’ll take it from there, then we’ll look at the Drogheda game.
“But at the minute we are just taking each game on a match by match basis, because every game is a massive opportunity for us to start climbing that table again.”
The Letterkenny native was pleased that the Candy Stripes secured another three points on the road, this time at the RSC and he was even more happy that young Ronan Boyce continued his superb start to the season.
"First was very good and we had to grind out the second half, but that's football for you and it's good to get the three points," he added.
"We are starting to get a settled back-four and that helps and although Danny Lafferty was suspended tonight (Friday), he's also quality. Then you look at Ronan Boyce, who's 20 and it looks like he has been playing in the league these last 10 years, in fact in the Premier Division and he has been incredible since he came in.
"Ruaidhri (Higgins) and the back-room team have been brilliant with us as well and we just want to keep things going now.
"I think our defenders, that's excluding myself, have nearly more goals than our strikers, which is actually good to see because the defenders are putting the bench mark down for them and then the strikers have to step up a wee bit.
"Look to be honest it doesn't matter who scores, if we have three points at the end of the game, that's job done."