Derry City's Ruaidhri Higgins wants players to come back hungry after mid-season break
Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins admits the mid-season break has come at a bad time for his side.
Since taking over from Declan Devine, Higgins has guided the Brandywell men to 15 points from a possible 24 on offer and having played champions Shamrock Rovers, leaders Sligo Rovers, Bohemians and in-form Drogheda United, he has been pleased his side have remained unbeaten during that time; now the Derry boss wants to ensure his squad keep their momentum after the break.
“I don’t think it has come at a great time to be honest but in saying that the players will go away and get refreshed and come back hungry to go again," he insisted.
“It’s going well for us and we have got a bit of momentum now, so hopefully we can keep that going. The players have been an absolute joy to go and work with, as have the staff and it's so far so good.
“We have played the top four teams now and have won two and drew two, so we have to be delighted with that and it gives the players real belief that we can go to difficult venues and pick up results.”
The Limavady man conceded that both his side and Drogheda both went out to try and win Friday night's game and because of that it was an exciting encounter, which gave Higgins some heart stopping moments in the closing stages.
“To be honest I thought it was a brilliant game of football,” he explained. “Two teams that had a go at each other and tried to win the game, which was impressive and I think given Drogheda’s recent form I think it’s a phenomenal three points for us.
“It was a tactical battle and there was a lot going on, but the game determined it, as it was very frantic. It’s a small pitch here, so things happen all the time, there’s attacks and if you break from the half-way line it’s an attack.
“It was end to end and it wasn’t good for my heart to be honest with you, but listen I’m sure if you were a neutral here watching the game you would have enjoyed it."
The former Dundalk assistant manager, like United gaffer Tim Clancy, felt both teams should have had penalties and neither Derry's Darren Cole or Drogs youngster Jordan Adeyemo should have been sent-off by referee Adriano Reale.
“To be honest I didn’t think either were red cards," he explained.
"I thought their lad was harshly sent-off as was ours but that’s the way it goes. I also felt both teams should have had a penalty each so it evens itself out.
“I don’t think any team was particularly hard done by and I think there were decisions against both and it didn’t really favour either team."