St Pat’s defeat won’t derail Derry City’s Euro bid: Greg Sloggett
GREG SLOGGETT couldn’t quite pinpoint where it all went wrong in Tuesday night’s shock loss to St Pat’s but he’s not prepared to let the setback derail Derry City’s bid for European football.
The former UCD man agreed that the quick turnaround in fixtures and the heavy pitch in Sligo the previous Saturday didn’t help their cause against the Saints who came intent on pipping City to fourth position.
However, the Meath native refused to make excuses for a poor night at the office and he’s confident the Candy Stripes will ‘make it right’ on Friday night against Finn Harps.
A single point is all that’s required to ensure the club’s place in the Europa League next season and Sloggett has promised a much improved display.
“It’s kind of a hard one to put your finger on really,” said Sloggett when asked why Derry so easily surrendered their early second half lead against St Pat’s. “I’m surprised with ourselves given everything at stake, we didn’t kick on.
“So it’s a disappointing night. There’s no two ways about it, we’re disappointed with the performance and result and we need to put that right on Friday night.”
The fixture list has been relentless this season and it was far from ideal to play three crucial league clashes in such a short period of time. Derry looked fatigued despite a quick tempo start to the game but ultimately it was three sloppy goals in the space of 30 disastrous second half minutes which proved their downfall.
“That’s not an excuse,” Sloggett said of the fixture congestion. “Obviously there’s a lot of factors out of our control. Fixtures on Saturday, a heavy pitch in Sligo but it’s not an excuse. This is what the league decide. “International fixtures came at a strange time and this is the way the games fell. We just have to deal with that and put in a better performance.
“We needed to bring more to the game and we didn’t and we’ve come out the wrong side. We need to make that right. We were expecting ourselves to kick on after the goal and go and win the game. They just got a bit of a momentum shift and the ball fell their way, the flick on for the second goal and then we were chasing the game.
“We will have to digest it and look at things but we have to make it right on Friday night and qualify for Europe.”
City don’t have to wait long to rectify that performance as they quickly turned their attentions to the north west derby which will conclude the 2019 campaign for the Candy Stripes.
“No matter what, when you lose a game you want the next one to come as quick as possible and we’re lucky in that sense. We’ll freshen up and we’ll be ready to go to hopefully put another three points on the board.
“At the start of the season I think you would’ve taken a situation where a win in your last game qualifies you for Europe and hopefully we can come good.
“We don’t have control over Finn Harps. We just have control over ourselves and we need to start with the intensity and proper mindset need to go and win the game.”