Derry City's Jamie McGonigle aiming for FAI Cup glory

Striker Jamie McGonigle is thrilled to back amongst the goals ahead of Sunday’s Extra.ie FAI Cup semi-final clash against Treaty United.

The Dungiven man, who has notched 13 goals already this season, admits it’s been tough during his recent lean spell but he’s hoping now that he’s back doing what he does best, the goals will keep coming.

McGonigle started the year like a house on fire but as the campaign reached it’s midway point he found the net just in once15 games. Indeed last week’s stoppage time strike against Finn Harps was his first league goal since scoring at Sligo Rovers way back in May.

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"I came into the season flying fit and started well but then had a sort of an off patch. I was in and out of the team and stuff so it was just a matter of trying to get back to the way I was playing at the start of the season and I think I'm starting to find that form again,” he insisted.

"It was tough, especially when you're a goalscorer. You're very much a confidence player and I think that period was probably the longest time in my career without a goal. I think I scored against Oliver Bond Celtic but it was just important to keep working hard.

"I was still scoring away in training and stuff so it was just about getting that one to fall to you in a game and then they sort of all just start to come in numbers.”

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In fact, the former Coleraine front man revealed his recent header against Shamrock Rovers in the FAI Cup quarter-final win came somewhat as a shock to him.

Derry City striker Jamie McGonigle is delighted to back scoring goals.

"I was so surprised it was a header because I have scored maybe about 10 headed goals in total over my career but I couldn't have cared had it hit my knee or whatever, as long as it just went into the net,” he added.

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The 26-year-old is adamant Ruaidhrí Higgins’ side won’t be taking First Division men, Treaty United lightly but says City are going into the last four encounter full of confidence.

"We have to treat the tie against Treaty like any other game we've had this year,” he insists, "We are preparing right and have done our video work, working on shape and the tactical side of the game. We know we have to be at our best to get a good result on Sunday.

"I think it's maybe 18 games unbeaten or something like that but in the cup form can go out the window. All it takes is a mistake or something like that, so we just need to make sure that we're on it.

"We have to show them respect because they're here on merit. We have to make sure that we prepare just the same as if we were playing Shamrock Rovers who we played here at the Brandywell in the last round, or the Cork City game before that. It all has to be the same.”

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And McGonigle can’t wait to play in front of another Brandywell sell-out.

"The fans have been brilliant,” he added. “That Shamrock Rovers game, a couple of mates were in for the first time and they were saying they couldn't believe how brilliant it was and they're hassling me now trying to get tickets all the time.

"To be honest I couldn't even get them any tickets for Sunday because the game is sold out."