Ruaidhrí Higgins admits good friends Stephen O'Donnell and Alan Reynolds had caught him 'off guard'

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​Ruaidhrí Higgins admitted his good friends Alan Reynolds and Stephen O'Donnell had momentarily caught him 'off guard' in their attempts to out-smart the Derry City boss on Friday night.

​The Limavady man found himself up against his former Derry assistant Reynolds and his former roommate at Dundalk, O'Donnell who was surprisingly appointed as the Bohs No.2 just 24 hours before their visit to Foyleside.

He had predicted the pair would 'have something up their sleeves' and claimed he was 'second guessing' their approach in the pre-match build-up and admitted afterwards Bohemians' system had thrown his team off in the opening stages before getting to grips with the challenge.

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"Two really good friends of mine, really good friends and two outstanding coaches and football minds," said Higgins about the Bohs duo.

"I knew they would have something up their sleeves and they did. They came with a system we hadn't prepared for at all. They're inventive in how they go about it but we adapted and got the job done."How difficult is it coming up against two coaches who know his managerial methods and football philosophy inside out?

"You're second guessing at times and sometimes you can over think it but then sometimes you know there'll be something thrown out there and they caught us a wee bit off guard in the first 20 minutes of the game. We got to grips with it and were fine from then on."

It was Higgins' second half substitutions which ultimately swung the game in Derry's favour and the timing was perfect as they injected fresh legs and an attacking impetus just as Bohs' legs began to tire."We've loads of quality, I think everyone knows that. It's just about keeping people right now and keeping people fit. We know if we can do that we can beat anyone in this country."

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He's not getting carried away, however, just 16 games into the season.

Stephen O'Donnell was appointed Bohemians No.2 before the visit to Derry.Stephen O'Donnell was appointed Bohemians No.2 before the visit to Derry.
Stephen O'Donnell was appointed Bohemians No.2 before the visit to Derry.

"We've three wins and two draws from our last five, which is decent form. When we were eight points behind a month or five weeks ago, I didn't get too excited and I'm certainly not getting too excited now. We'll get back in on Sunday morning and start concentrating on St Pats.

"The most pleasing thing about tonight was how we finished the game and the impact of our substitutions and getting a late goal which shows the character of our team. To be talking about other scores 16 games in is not my cup of tea.

"If we're talking about other scores with five games to go and we're in the mix it's different but we need to keep focussing on ourselves and keep plugging away."