Drogheda a 'tough nut to crack' says Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins

​RUAIDHRI Higgins never expects a comfortable night when Drogheda United roll into town and nothing's changed in that regard as Kevin Doherty has enjoyed more time to mastermind a major upset on the first night of the season.
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​The former Shelbourne coach was on the same Uefa pro licence course as Higgins and they graduated together in December 2022.

He's enjoyed a decent record against his Derry counterpart since taking over as Drogs boss after Tim Clancy's exit ahead of the 2022 campaign.

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Last year he guided the Co. Louth men to victories over Derry at Brandywell, Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght and beat St Pat's twice so he knows how to upset the applecart when up against the league's big fish.

He's since left his day job as an An Post employee and gone into full-time management at Weavers Park and having recruited well, Higgins knows his Derry team won't get anything easy tonight.

"They've been taken over and probably have a bit more money to spend than what they had previously and they've recruited well which they've always done to be fair," said Higgins.

"They've caused us problems in the past. We took seven points from 12 against them last year and the year before might've been less than that. They're a tough nut to crack and always well set up, particularly against the top end teams. They've caused a number of top end teams problems over the last couple of years.

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"They're able to bring higher quality players now since they've been taken over and they've signed really well. They have a couple of lads from Lincoln who have been good to them in the last few years. Obviously Frantz Pierrot who they signed from Athlone who clubs were keen on as well. He's a really good player and got 25 odd goals in the First Division last year. He's a handful."They have threats from different areas and are always well set up and have always caused the top teams problems over the last few years and I'd expect no different."Our crowd is educated in that sense. They understand Friday is not going to be just a matter of turning up. Far from it and we fully respect what we're coming up against.

Drogheda assistant manager Daire Doyle celebrates a big win at Brandywell.Drogheda assistant manager Daire Doyle celebrates a big win at Brandywell.
Drogheda assistant manager Daire Doyle celebrates a big win at Brandywell.

"They have some really good players who are well coached and we need to be right at it to win the game. But we're at home on Friday in front of our own supporters - a sell out and we want to send them home happy."