FAI Cup joy is what Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins wants

Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins heaped praise on his number two, Alan Reynolds, following their Extra.ie FAI Cup success over 10 men Shamrock Rovers on Sunday.

Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins celebrates after their win over Shamrock Rovers.
Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins celebrates after their win over Shamrock Rovers.

Higgins was delighted with the victory but admitted Reynolds’ experience has helped him a lot this season, particularly during a difficult spell in May when Derry failed to win in six games.

And the City boss revealed he would swap all his winners’ medals as a player for a FAI Cup medal this November, such is the responsibility he feels managing the club.

“If you want to stay sane, getting into football management is probably not the right way to go but it’s for nights like these that we’re in the game,” smiled Higgins, “We still have a job to do (to reach the final), but it would mean the world to me. I would trade all my players’ winners’ medals in to pick up a winners’ medal as manager of this football club.

“It’s a special club, that’s why I came here and why the players and the staff want to be here. Hopefully we have plenty of good nights to come, but the second we get ahead of ourselves we’ll get done over, so we need to remain focused.

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“We don’t have a game this weekend so we’ll have a few days off and we’ll come in towards the back end of the week and prepare for St. Pat’s in the league.

“(As a manager) there’s more responsibility, it’s on you. If you win games you get praised, if you lose games, it’s on you. Trust me, it means a lot more. It’s probably the responsibility of it; I’m privileged, proud and very honoured to manage this club and nothing would make me prouder than winning a major trophy with the club.

“It’s relentless. We went through a month in May that I hope I never experience again. It was horrible, but it was a good thing I think.

“There have been loads of tests in the opening 18 months since I’ve been here but the month of May was very tough. However, we came out of it in the right way, we’re playing well and we’re picking up results.

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“Alan Reynolds has so much experience and in that month, where maybe you’re questioning yourself or doubting yourself to a certain extent, his experience and his personality was brilliant for me. I can’t thank him enough. He’s been exceptional, as have all the staff and all the players.

“It’s a great place to be at the minute but we just need to stay grounded, kick on and win our next game.

“It’s tough. I live in the city so you can’t get away from it. People here are so passionate about the club so you need good people around you and I certainly have that.”

Higgins was delighted that former Rovers duo, Brandon Kavanagh and Daniel Lafferty, both played their part in extra-time.

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“That’s Brandon’s first goal for the club,” he added. “He’s had a tough time recently because he has found himself out of the team but he showed real composure to put it away.

“Danny has also found himself out of the team since the mid-season break but he’s found a big goal, something he has done his whole career. They were two big moments and we’re delighted to send this big crowd home happy.”

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