FAI Cup Final: Alan Reynolds has unfinished business at Derry City

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Assistant manager Alan Reynolds insists Derry City players are hurting at missing out on the Premier Division title.

The Candy Stripes’ form dipped in the run-in as Shamrock Rovers went on to clinch their third title in a row but Reynolds knows City will be using that disappointment heading into Sunday’s FAI Cup Final against Shelbourne.

"There's hurt from not winning the league, that's for sure, because we were disappointed with that. Even though we did really well, that's going to be a motivation for the players as well,” he insisted.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I suppose given the calibre of players we've signed, eyebrows were raised everywhere but one thing I know for sure is that there are a lot of big budgets in the league for all the clubs, because they're all chasing it and it will be a tough league next year.

Derry City assistant manager Alan Reynolds talks with boss Ruaidhrí Higgins earlier in the season at Richmond Park.Derry City assistant manager Alan Reynolds talks with boss Ruaidhrí Higgins earlier in the season at Richmond Park.
Derry City assistant manager Alan Reynolds talks with boss Ruaidhrí Higgins earlier in the season at Richmond Park.

"However we'll be looking to improve on this year as well. That has to be the aim for the club because it's a special club, it’s a big club and my time up here has been great.

"I don't want this to sound wrong but I'm not here to waste time. I'm up here to win the league. I don't know how long I'll spend here but in that time I want to win the league."

Read More
27 superb images as Derry City bring FAI Cup fever to Steelstown Primary School

Only a few weeks ago the 48-year-old turned down the chance to take over at Bohemians but he concedes returning to the management game is something that interests him, though he has some unfinished business first on Foyleside.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I just didn't feel it was right. We had five or six games to go and we were in the mix for the league and cup. This club has been good to me, from the owner to everyone at the club, and I just didn't think it would be fair,” he explained.

"Is managing something I liked to get back into? Probably, yes, but I just didn't think it was right because all the lads and everyone at the club has been so good to me and I have unfinished business here.

"It has been great here and we've improved a lot as the season has gone on.

"(We’d) a lot of new signings at the start of the season and we're going in the right direction. There's always room for improvement which we'll look at next year but Sunday now is the biggest day of the season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"You want to be playing the cup final. We're all in good spirits and looking forward to it.”

The Waterford native concedes that recent home draw against Shelbourne all but ended their hopes of catching Shamrock Rovers and since then Derry have been focusing on the final and if the encounter goes all the way to a penalties, he knows that goalkeeper Brian Maher will be using the Republic of Ireland U21’s recent penalty shoot-out heartache in Israel as motivation.

"Look I think it was against Shels here at the Brandywell and then Sligo on the Monday, that weekend knocked us out of your stride and then the focus shifted to the final,” admitted the City assistant boss.

"We've been trying to keep fellas right and get other fellas up to speed and I think that's natural.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Form goes out the window, because cup finals are never really pretty affairs either, so look it's just all about whatever it takes to win.

"Brian (Maher) has experienced penalty shoot-out over in Israel recently so he'll be well prepared for it and we'll also be well prepared if it goes to penalties, because we've been working on them the last few weeks, but yeah it would be nice to go on and put on a show, but Shels are a good side and we haven't had it easy against them this season.

"Their form I suppose has been up and down as well, but I'm sure they've also focused on Sunday's final, but look we'll take it anyway it goes and hopefully it's a good spectacle, with us obviously coming out on top.”