Derry City boss Peter Hutton admits his side will have to ‘do it the hard way’ if they are to make the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup semi-finals for the third time in four years.
The Candy Stripes gave a much improved performance in Friday’s 1-1 draw but could be without Mark Quigley for Monday night’s replay after Hutton revealed the former St Patrick’s Athletic made his first competitive start despite suffering from illness.
“It has been frustrating for everyone but Mark has worked very hard to get himself in good nick,” explained the Derry manager, “He’s been working one-on-one a lot and with strength and conditioning coaches and he has got himself up to speed now.
“I thought you could against Cork, in glimpses, what quality he is capable of bringing to the team. He has an eye for a pass and he will get stronger now as the season kicks on.
“He showed at times what he can offer even though he isn’t’ feeling well at the moment. The doctor had a look at him and is concerned about his tonsils. That forced us to change things a bit in the second half on Friday but I thought the whole team performed well.
“We will have to play it by ear regarding the illness but the doctor has said Mark looks very doubtful at this moment.”
Derry welcome back Philip Lowry after suspension for Monday’s replay which arrives four days before the crucial Premier Division clash with Shamrock rovers at the Brandywell and Hutton admitted he was frustrated Derry couldn’t find a late winner on Friday night.
“We had one or two decent chances but unfortunately we couldn’t take them and their keeper managed to pull off a couple of good saves to keep them in the tie. That was a disappointment but the main thing with cup football is staying in there and doing what it takes to get in the next round. We are still there and we are still fighting but we will have to do it the hard way now.
“It’s probably a match we could have done without, no doubt. Given the journey, the logistics and having an important game on Friday against Rovers, it is far from ideal but if it means getting into the semi-final of the cup, them we’ll take it.”