Derry City's Eoin Toal to miss Dundalk encounter

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins has insisted his squad will adapt to life without Will Patching, as they prepare for tonight’s clash against Dundalk.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 6:30 am
Derry City captain Eoin Toal looks set to miss tonight's clash at Oriel Park.
Derry City captain Eoin Toal looks set to miss tonight's clash at Oriel Park.

The talented midfielder, whose loan spell ended after Monday night’s draw with Sligo Rovers, has scored six goals and had six assists this season but returns to Vinny Perth’s squad.

However Higgins feels his players have enough about them to make up for his departure.

“That’s part and parcel of football, it’s life and we have to adapt. I think we will adapt,” he insisted.

”Will was absolutely fantastic for us but you have to find different ways, again we have put a plan in place and we’ll try to carry it out and see where it takes us.”

Derry travel to Oriel Park this evening with skipper Eoin Toal extremely doubtful, as he continues to struggle with a hip problem which saw him having to be replaced before half-time on Monday evening, but Higgins feels that young centre-back Danny Lupano is an able replacement.

The Brandywell men are also going to be without winger Marc Walsh for a number of weeks, after the young Donegal man continues to struggle with hamstring injuries, however youngster Michael Harris has been impressing in training and could feature.

“Eoin looks like he's going to miss out and I can only speak since I have come in, he has been absolutely outstanding and he has led the team by example,” he added.

“While he has been outstanding we have to adapt and we have got real capable players who can come in. You saw Danny Lupano in the second half against Sligo Rovers, I thought he was very, very good and comfortable.

“People forgot Danny Lupano is only 20 and I personally think that he has got huge potential to be a really good player.

"Marc Walsh is also out, while Patrick Ferry is a major doubt, but young Michael Harris, who has been doing well in training, is coming into the squad to give us another attacking option and he's a real threat."

This evening’s clash at Oriel Park will be the first time Higgins has faced his old club and come up against his old colleague Vinny Perth, so because of that he’s looking forward to the game.

“I have had a lot of very, very good memories during my time there,” he stated.

“I had good success there as a player. coach and assistant manager and it’s a club that’s close to me, but Derry City is my local club and it’s the club that I spent the most time at throughout my career and it’s a club where I want to be. I’m absolutely loving managing the football club and I hope I’m here for a long time.”