Ruaidhri Higgins expects Derry City to be full of 'energy and fight' at Oriel Park

DUNDALK assistant manager, Ruaidhri Higgins expects Derry City to be revitalised and confident of an upset going into Friday night's clash at Oriel Park.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 7:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 10:08 pm
Dundalk assistant manager, Ruaidhri Higgins, pictured with first team coach, John Gill, expects a tough test from Derry City at Oriel Park.

The Candy Stripes looked fatigued during the 2-0 loss to Bohemians on Monday night after an unforgiving schedule of eight games in April seemingly took its toll.

However, Higgins reckons the extra day recovery from Monday night will ensure Declan Devine's team arrive in Dundalk with the energy and fight he's been so impressed with during the opening round of fixtures.

"The difference between playing on a Friday and Monday and then playing on a Monday and then the following Friday is huge in terms of recovery ," he claimed.

"You have that extra 24 hours between a Monday to Friday game" he continued. "Derry will be refreshed and raring to go coming to Oriel Park on Friday and we'll recover well, that's something we do well at the club.

"Three days instead of two day's recovery will be a big help to Derry and they will come to Oriel with plenty of energy and fight and try to win the game.

"Derry have done well so far they are full of energy and quality but we are in good form too so hopefully it makes for a good game. "

Derry finished an incredible 45 points behind the champions last season but having watched them up close in Dundalk's 2-0 win at Brandywell last month, Higgins reckons the Foylesiders have improved.

"I've no doubt it won't be that margin again. But in saying that it's a different staff and a different set of players. Our record has been good against Derry for the last few years but it's a different staff and different players so stats mean nothing.

"We're expecting a really tough game and we know Derry's strengths and they have a lot of them. So we'll be well prepared and we've done our homework."

City welcome striker David Parkhouse back from suspension and his absence was felt in the loss to Bohs on Monday night.

And ex-Derry City midfielder, Higgins insists Parkhouse is one of a number of players identified as a threat.

"He's one of a number of players you have to be prepared for. They play with high energy and high workrate.

"They are all very mobile around the pitch. Again, we know their strength but we have to implement our game plan and try and win the match our way."

Former City winger, Michael Duffy will certainly form a major part of Dundalk's gameplan tonight as the Galliagh man goes into the game in sensational form having bagged a brace against Waterford last week.

And Higgins reckons it's only a matter of time before the wideman 'catches the eye of Ireland boss, Mick McCarthy.

"He's got six league goals in 13 league games and he's got loads of assists. He's a very important player and we're delighted to gave him. Long may his form continue. He's in great form at the minute and we just hope he can continue that in the coming weeks.

"I do think he's capable of catching the eye of Mick McCarthy and his staff. I personally feel he's at that level and wouldn't be surprised if they showed a bit if interest in him over the next while."