'Derry City don't get enough credit': claims Declan Devine
DERRY CITY manager, Declan Devine reckons his side don't get the credit or recognition they deserve.
The Candy Stripes are on the verge of qualifying for the Europa League with two games to go in the 2019 campaign and Devine believes they've done it by consistently playing an attractive brand of football.
The Creggan man took the managerial reigns for a second time last November after a season which saw them finish third from bottom as the Brandywell club ultimately went into freefall.
It's been a remarkable turnaround and one Devine believes his players deserve more praise for.
"To be honest, outside of Derry I don't think we've got any credit whatsoever," he said. "We haven't had one player of the month for instance.
"We have a 19 year-old centre forward (David Parkhouse) who has scored 17 goals and who hasn't had any real praise outside of Derry.
"We've Junior (Ogedi-Uzokwe) who came in having never played in the league of Ireland and he's lit it up and doesn't receive enough praise.
"We have people like Greg Sloggett, Eoin Toal and Ally Gilchrist. Greg has been an incredible signing for us this year. Peter Cherrie who was No.2 at Cork last year and has been a magnificent servant for us. Ally Gilchrist wasn't wanted by Shamrock Rovers but was a brilliant servant to us.
"Ciaran Coll, who has been at Finn Harps for 10 years, has been an incredible player. Jamie McDonagh who was here last year and Darren Cole has also been outstanding all year. We could go right through the team but personally I just don't think the players have got the credit they deserve in terms of how far we've come in such a short period of time."
Two wins from the final two matches of the season this week, against St Pat's and Finn Harps at Brandywell, should be enough to clinch third place while a single point against the Saints will secure European football. Regardless of the results, Devine insists he will be 'extremely proud' of his players for their efforts.
"Even if we don't finish third I will look them in the eye, shake their hands and be extremely proud and thankful for everything they've put in over the course of this year because they do deserve the praise.
"The brand of football we've played this year has been brilliant. We've got to just get across the line. Whether that's tomorrow night (Tuesday) or if it has to go to the last game then so be it but I don't want anyone disappointed if we finish fourth."
St Pat's are also seeking to finish in the final European place and Devine certainly doesn't expect Stephen O'Donnell's side to roll over.
"People were saying we'd go to Sligo and it would be easy because they had nothing to play for. That wasn't the case.
"St Pat's aren't out of the European chase by any stretch yet. They will think they can win the two games and if they do we've got to drop points against Finn Harps. It's in our hands but at the same time it can be taken out of our hands very quickly if we're not careful.
"It's two matches and I want to beat the team who are challenging us for Europe and I want us to beat our North West rivals."