Derry City's Joe Thomson expects tough test at Finn Harps but he’s looking to send Candy Stripes fans home happy

Derry City's Joe Thomson. Picture by Kevin Moore/mciDerry City's Joe Thomson. Picture by Kevin Moore/mci
Derry City's Joe Thomson. Picture by Kevin Moore/mci
Midfielder Joe Thomson feels tomorrow night’s North West derby at Finn Harps is the perfect game for Derry City to get their season back on track.

The Brandywell men’s form has been indifferent over recent weeks, winning only once in their last five games, something the 24-year-old is anxious to change at Ballybofey tomorrow evening (KO 8pm).

And despite playing on Tuesday evening in Waterford, the Scotsman insisted the Candy Stripes won’t be looking for any excuses.

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“The derby is perfect for us to try and get going again,” he insisted, “We were in the next two days after the Waterford game, we have all looked after ourselves as we have a good bunch of professionals so we’ll be making no excuses.

“Yes, they have a extra day recovery but that won’t be an excuse for us. We’ll be going there looking for a positive result and it’s a game we are looking forward to. We’ll be looking for the three points.”

Thomson fired home a late equaliser against Ollie Horgan’s men when the sides last met in September at the Brandywell but he also received a red card after the melee that ensued following his goal. He’s expecting another tough battle in Ballybofey but hopes the large travelling Derry supporters will be celebrating after the game.

“It’s not going to be any easier than it was in Waterford, we know what to expect,” he added. “They lift their game against us every time and every game this season has been close, but I’m sure we’ll have our supporters behind us as well.

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“They were brilliant in our last game down there but unfortunately we couldn’t get the result. Hopefully they can get right behind us and we can give them something to go home happy about.”

The ex-Dunfermline Athletic man, who only signed a two year contract extension with Derry a few weeks ago, feels that despite late equalisers against both Bohemians and Waterford respectively, the results were points dropped rather than gained.

“We aren’t happy coming away from Waterford with only a point," he said.

“Even when we did score the boys were rushing to get the ball and place it on the centre-circle as we were trying to just get another chance. It has been a week of four points dropped rather than two gained.

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“If we want to go places, which we do, then we need to be winning these two fixtures. That’s no disrespect to these teams, but it is what it is and we have gone into the last minute 2-1 behind.

“Thankfully we’ve come up with another goal and going into injury time you’d take a point but I thought second half we should have moved the ball better and created more. The pitch was cutting up and that maybe played a part but we know ourselves we can play a lot better than what we did in the second half against Waterford.”

Thomson said Ruaidhri Higgins’ side must start better in Ballybofey, something they didn’t do at the RSC on Tuesday.

“You can’t come away from home and concede after three minutes, you don’t give yourself a chance. We got back into the game and scored a well worked goal and I felt we were playing well at that point but obviously we have conceded from a set-play which is unlike us. We made it hard for ourselves but the team spirit is great,” he added.

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“I have eluded to it before but the spirit we have is very good and I feel it’s a good habit to have going into the dying embers of any game. We believed we could still get a goal and it was a corner that we worked on.

“We knew they left space at the front post and Dixie (Patrick Ferry) has flicked it on. As soon as you get the first contact you give yourself every chance of scoring and thankfully Cam (Cameron McJannet) has put it into the net.”