Derry City's Joe Thomson shocked after playing so well and leaving Shamrock Rovers empty handed

Midfielder Joe Thomson, like most people leaving Tallaght Stadium, was shocked that Derry City lost to champions Shamrock Rovers, on Friday night.

The 25-year-old felt the Candy Stripes’ game plan of playing on the front foot and taking the game to the Hoops worked well, apart from being more ruthless in the final third.

“I’m absolutely gutted and I think all the lads are, as we put so much into the game,” he insisted.

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“We felt in the game that we were the team on top for the majority of the game and coming here to the champions and doing that, which I don’t think anybody else is probably going to do that this season, so it’s bitterly disappointing to lose.

Derry City defender Danny Lafferty slides in to win possession from Shamrock Rovers captain Ronan Finn. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

“It’s a game where we really should have been coming away with three points, never mind nothing.

“Performance levels tonight and last Monday were excellent, but we have only one point. We just need to take our chances, be more clinical when we get in there. It was just one of those nights and honestly I’m still lost for words for how we haven’t won that game tonight.”

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Thomson also insisted apart from the warm-up he never heard the Rovers fans until Danny Mandroiu’s winning goal.

“It was a good atmosphere in the build up to the game but after five or 10 minutes I never heard them until they scored and that tells a story in itself.

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“Our away fans were the only ones that I heard. We obviously gave our fans hope that we could get the three points, so yeah it’s bitterly disappointing to concede that goal, because I honestly don’t remember them having a shot on target before that.”

The former Celtic starlet also knows if the Brandywell men want to be challenging for honours, then they need to start winning games like Friday night and last Monday evening’s home game against St Patrick’s Athletic.

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“They are a very good team and there’s no getting away from that but I thought on the night we were head and shoulders above them and that’s no disrespect, but I thought we were the better team and their manager (Stephen Bradley) even said that to Ruaidhrí (Higgins) as well.

“But listen there’s no point coming away saying ‘Monday and Friday we’ve been brilliant’ and come away with only one point from out of six, so we need to turn these performances into wins and as I said I don’t know how we lost tonight, I don’t know how that happened but if we want to go places and do things this season, then we have start winning games.”

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Having been in and out of the side this campaign, the talented midfielder hopes he has done enough to be a permanent fixture in the starting line-up.

“Yeah of course I was happy to be playing,” he explained. “I have been training well and doing well myself, so I just have to keep my head down.

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“Obviously it has been disappointing for myself not to be in the team recently, but you can’t moan, you just need to get on with it and hopefully I have done enough to stay in the team for Friday.”