Derry City's Eoin Toal enjoying life under Ruaidhri Higgins' leadership

Derry City captain Eoin Toal believes the future looks bright for the club and he's enjoying working under Ruaidhri Higgins.
Derry City captain Eoin Toal rises high to head this one during Saturday night's win at Longford Town. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCIDerry City captain Eoin Toal rises high to head this one during Saturday night's win at Longford Town. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI
Derry City captain Eoin Toal rises high to head this one during Saturday night's win at Longford Town. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

The big centre-back, who is now in his fifth season with the Candy Stripes, feels recent signings Jamie McGonigle, Bastien Hery and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe have added quality to the Brandywell men's squad.

Toal, is also excited that Higgins is already planning for next season and the years to come with the likes of James Akintunde, Cameron McJannet and Ciaron Harkin all signing new deals this campaign.

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"We have quality players coming into the squad, Ruaidhri is bringing them in and the future's looking good," he insisted.

"I love it here at Derry, as I have mentioned lots of times. I think it's my fifth season now and I'm just taking each game as they come with Derry.

"Ruaidhri has started to build for the future and a lot of players have signed longer contracts and you can see that's his base and that's the way he wants to go and I love working under him and I can't praise him enough."

The 22-year-old, who played his part in Derry's comfortable 2-0 win at bottom side Longford Town on Saturday night, wants City to build on that result and also look to secure more clean-sheets, as that was only their fourth clean-sheet of the season.

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He also concedes if they are able to keep goals out, then it gives the attack minded players a platform to build on, but he was also quick to point out that everyone in the squad needs to put a shift in to ensure they keep clean-sheets and it's not just down to the back-line.

"Defenders need to give the forwards and midfielders the platform to play and I think we haven't kept enough clean-sheets," he admitted. "But tonight we were brilliant, something that we need to work on to be better but it's a whole team thing and hopefully we can now build on the Longford clean-sheet.

"As I said we have quality players coming in and we are all looking forward to the second half of the season. If we can just keep our momentum going then who knows.

"It was a hard game for us and we knew coming down here it was going to be tough to get something, but I'm buzzing with the win, the clean-sheet and we scored two very good goals.

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"I think that's the system that we have been working on lately and it has been working out really well for us, but we definitely needed to come here and win, get the three points and I thought we showed professionalism.

"I thought we probably could have got the second goal a bit earlier, but it did come at a good time, as it just killed the game and we won a deserved three points."

The former Northern Ireland U21 international feels if Derry can now get a few results put together then moving up the table will be on the horizon, but he isn't getting too far ahead of himself and is only focusing on this Friday night's home clash against Drogheda United.

"We took it to the death against Drogheda in the cup and we kept a clean-sheet here at Longford, so we can only build on that against Drogheda in the league at home, this Friday," he explained.

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"We now have to start building momentum, we had two losses on the bounce and now we have two wins, so we just want to keep those wins going. As I said we play Drogheda again and as a team are looking forward to it.

"I think if we can win our next game against Drogheda and while I don't want to look too far ahead, but if we can take every game as it comes and have that winning mentality and get positive results on the board, then you never know."

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